Mornings at Crossroads usually start with an e-mail from me or one
of my colleagues addressing any early business that needs taking
care of on the site. In a ritual whose origins by now are lost in
the fogs of antiquity, we always close that note with the
lower-case greeting, "good morning."
Yesterday, the unfathomable tone of so many e-mail
communications that we all receive in the course of a day spurred
some casual discussion among the Crossroads staff. We agreed that
electronic missives written without any thought given to subtext
are like little time bombs. Was the writer angry? Busy? Is my job
in jeopardy? Who can tell from a note that says "There's a typo on
the home page"?
E-mail, we quickly came to realize, has the same angst-provoking
potential as an unopened letter from the IRS. The feeling is
somewhat akin to that which Dorothy Parker was expressing when she
quipped to a ringing phone, "What fresh hell is this?"
So, while I don't recall how the "good morning" practice began,
I now know why we do it. It's to say, "Everything's fine, we're in
this together and let's have a good day." You should try it.