Country Folk Are Friendly

I’ve been regularly running the country roads around our village since the lockdown of six weeks ago. Yes, it’s that long since I’ve been in Belfast as my office remains closed. Running during my lunch breaks is a dim, distant memory as I’ve embraced the rolling, rural terrain for my daily exercise. This has meant more hills to climb which I detest but know will benefit my overall fitness in the long term. I’m determined to still fit in my work trousers at the end of all this.

That’s not the only notable difference. My lunchtime work runs through the city took me past hundreds of fellow runners and office workers out for a stroll. As I navigated a route through them I was largely anonymous. The large majority of city dwellers studiously avoid eye contact with those they do not know. Encouraging nods or smiles are frowned upon and treated by most with grave suspicion. We stick to our own and never the twain shall meet.

This doesn’t happen in the country. 99% of people I pass acknowledge me with a greeting; it can be a few words, a wave or another form of greeting. Cars pass me and their drivers wave. I wave back even though I don’t know them and they probably don’t know me. It’s just politeness, common courtesy, but does wonders for fostering a sense of community in these troubled times. I don’t feel invisible, a potential threat to be avoided at all costs.

WordPress is a bit like that. When I hit the publish button and sit back I look forward to those who check in with greetings and comments. Some are regular passers by, others less so, but the huge majority are friendly, constructive and positive. In almost three years of blogging I could count on the figures of one hand how many people I’ve had issues with. It’s a friendly, supportive community, a safe place where you can express yourself in the written form.

These are lonely, confusing times. Many of us are struggling to adapt, we feel lost in the avalanche of depressing headlines. To some, the slightest interaction from a fellow human being could be all it takes to get them through another day. That human being could be you. So whether you’re walking down the street or scrolling through your timeline make time for others. We are all in this together, this pandemic has brought us all down to the same level.

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

63 thoughts on “Country Folk Are Friendly

  1. “To some, the slightest interaction from a fellow human being could be all it takes to get them through another day.”

    Thank you for this. 🙂

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  2. Yes, it’s really weird that where we live (in the country) everyone says hello (or rather bonjour of course) – in the street or the shops, it doesn’t matter. But head down the valley to Sion (a large town really) and you’ll hardly get a second look let alone a hello. What is it with being in the ‘city’ ? Take those same folk up into the mountains and they’ll happily say hello as the pass you on the paths. Very strange behaviour.

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  3. I live in a city in Western Canada. It’s bi-line is “The Friendly City”.
    When I first moved here I was shocked. People walking by you would say “good morning”. It was so different after living in Toronto where nobody acknowledge you as they passed by.
    Friendly people really do make you day a brighter one!

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  4. One day I was traveling through Texas and in this small town, I stopped at a gas station. This man, a cowboy, literally tipped his hat to me and said, “Ma’am” as he held the door open to me. My heart swooned. It still does when I think of that story. Man, why haven’t I written about that yet?

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  5. same in the Washington DC area. People don’t greet each other in the city, but whenever I go to the country side to hike or camp, people there are friendlier and they will wave or say hello.

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  6. I’ve really only just returned to wordpress properly after a 6 year gap. I’d forgotten how supportive and encouraging the people are on here and its nice seeing old faces and meeting new ones again

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      1. Yes, but have been under the weather for ages so couldn’t go out then. Have just got back from a walk just now which was lovely … up the west side of Central Park and then across the park and down Madison. Lovely!

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          1. I’ve been writing once every five days or so but you may have missed them … it’s quite time consuming of course but I love doing it. Struggling with the structure of the book which needs some work … driving me mad. Hope all is well in the Black household?

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  7. Living in the fly-over state of Arkansas in the US, I agree with your assessment of country folk. The drivers who pass by on my narrow blacktop road invariably give a one-finger salute with the index finger lifted from the steering wheel (not the bad finger).

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          1. I’m working at the campground! It’s my weekend and I work 9-5. It’s SO amazing to see kids playing and families out enjoying nature. It’s does my heart and spirit wonders 💚 check us out at bransontreehouseadventures.com

            Liked by 1 person

  8. Your words always brighten my day, Stephen. Happy Birthday, again! And as a gift, I have decided to check out your book 🙂

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  9. Oh so true. I find fellow walkers are quicker to wave and say hi now, even as we carefully navigate safely passing one another on the narrow sidewalks in our neighborhood. We’re all in this together. Take care, all.

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  10. Up heah I am known as that crazy old guy who walks a lot and runs a bit more outside in all kinds of weather. I tend to wave at everyone that goes by, so I have trained the locals and regular drivers around the area to wave back at the old fool. I have noticed that people do seem a bit more understanding of seeing me out running around now than they seemed to before all the pandemic stuff started. There are a few more smiles than there used to be when the locals see me running.

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  11. It’s nice to know that country folk in Ireland are friendly too. I guess country folk no matter where they live, are friendly folk. I’ve met lots of nice friendly bloggers here as well. Had my first crazy one last month. Not fun, but lesson learned. Thanks Stephen for always being friendly.

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  12. I love to run and walk for exercise. I haven’t left the house except for a few times to get food and to go to Walmart. I love our WordPress community. I’ve been blogging for ten years on WordPress and I don’t see a stopping point. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Country folks are awesome!. My home is on the edge of the city and the country. I’ve noticed the farther I get from the urban center, the friendlier folks are. In Texas we have a custom of waving hello as we pass or waving thank you for common courtesies on the road (like pulling over to let someone pass or letting someone in on the freeway). That custom seems long forgotten by most city dwellers but it makes my day when it does happen. You’re right when you talk about a sense of community…

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