Goodbye! Hello!

In several languages I am aware of the word or phrase of greeting is both hello and goodbye. That factoid has become significant to me.

Last week we had dinner with friends on two successive nights.  We are currently in the goodbye phase of our moving. We have all experienced it. This is the period in which we bid farewell to friends and acquaintances that we will no longer be seeing regularly and, truth be told, many we will probably not see again.

It always seems strange to me that moving on to an exciting new chapter of life is a mixed bag emotionally. To get to the life-giving future requires me to give up the present.  The “Hello!” requires a number of “Goodbyes!”

But it is not possible to move into the future unless we are willing to release the past and present. Releasing them does not mean forgetting them or throwing them away, or devaluing them. It means that I accept that the future will in some way be different and I need to relax my grip on the present allowing it to move into the past in order to allow myself to move into the future.

This Goodbye /Hello phenomenon is as true for organizations as it is of people. We can bring with us what we value from the past but we cannot recreate the past in the future. We have to be willing to say goodbye to some things if we want to say hello to others.

The goodbyes make it possible for the hellos to become deep and real. So Nancy and I  are saying goodbyes and feeling the loss of friendships and familiarity. But we also greatly anticipate the hellos that await us on our journey into the future.


About don

The Rev Don Hill is an Episcopal priest, rail fan and writer. He and his wife the Rev. Dr. Nancy Woodworth-Hill are currently Co-Pastors of St Paul's Episcopal Church, Jeffersonville IN, in the Diocese of Indianapolis. They also work as parish consultants in Appreciative Inquiry, strategic planning and spirituality development for parishes and vestries.
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