The Jewish Eye
Pirkei Avos: A Race To Say Good Morning First?
"Hevei Makdim B'Shalom Kol Adam" (Avos 4:20); the simple pshat is that you should greet your friend first and do not wait until he greets you. The Likutei Basar Likutei brings from the Pri Chaim that it is not referring to greeting people and saying hello before they say it first because then it should say "Hevei Makdim Lishol B'Shalom Kol Adam" you should be first to ask about your friends welfare.
He explains that the Mishna is talking about two people who get into a fight. Rather than hold a grudge and not talk to your friend the mishna is advising you that even if you feel that you are "in the right" and that your friend owes you an apology nevertheless you should go out and seek to make peace rather than wait for your friend to come to you. If you do so he will no doubt respond in kind and you have been "Makdim B'Shalom". You were the first to make Shalom! This is quite a bit harder and requires far greater character refinement than being the first to blurt out "Good Morning" from 20 yards away.
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