There it is, a small gesture that goes on with only a moment. This is a part of being a guy that I really kind of enjoy. It’s this little thing we will do when two guys pass by each other. A slight nod to the other person. It doesn’t matter if it’s on the sidewalk, in a car, while running, sitting, or doing numerous other activities it comes quickly, and it’s gone. It’s just a gesture, but it says a thousand words.
I was never outwardly taught this, it didn’t come up for classes or lessons. It was just understood that this needed to happen. To acknowledge each other’s existence, regardless if you know them or not. A small sign of respect for a person you may never see again. It’s like saying, “You are here, and see you” It doesn’t really matter what I am doing, I can elicit a nod from another guy as long as we make eye contact. Now, this doesn’t mean this is actually going to lead anywhere, it’s not any sort of invitation. No one expects people to act on the nod, the nod itself is a self-contained precept. It just feels nice to be acknowledged, to be honest, and I’m happy to do it. It’s the perfect way to end awkward looks.
A nod can happen between friends too. Pass one in the hallway but don’t really want to stop, just nod. Find yourself in a situation where you see someone you know while with a different group of people, just nod. It’s easy, and even though it seems like there is not much to it, there is a whole layer its complexity that just fills the gap in social relationships that would otherwise cause unneeded drama and harm. Letting it go with a nod signifies that everything is okay, that there is nothing pressing, and its okay to just be on your way. Though things can change and a nod can turn into a conversation or a connection of some sort, it being there is a good place to start without having to worry about the stepping on people’s toes.
The last part of the nod is much less of a nod but fall under the same family of things. When I had my motorcycle and was learning to ride, there was a small norm I had to follow. Every time you pass by another bike, you would throw up a peace sign or a wave depending on your preference. It was a nice sign of respect, and it just feels like your part of this wider community of people that are in some way connected through a shared experience and expression.
I don’t know where the nod came from, but as a practice, I find it an ultimately positive one. I think the nod is something that helps create a society in which we feel as if we exist together. So if you have the opportunity, nod at someone, when you get one back you’ll understand where I’m coming from.