Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How Are You?

That is the question people use as a greeting and walk right on. It’s a question and in my mind it is rude to just say that and not care or wait for a reply. On occasion I have stopped someone, store clerks and told them it was inconsiderate to say that and keep on walking. Poor people, they must have thought I was crazy but it just depends on how I’m feeling that day. Sometimes I have said I’m ok, or just hanging in there, or some other brief comment that gets a response of agreement about how their day is going too.

This all started for me when I got lupus and even though I was walking around like there was nothing wrong, I hurt all the time but no one could see that pain or that I was disabled. So can the empathy and the sincerity be taught so we ask that question with compassion? I don’t know the answer to that yet. It’s something that I think needs to be considered because so many are disconnected from any feeling of realness in our relations. Possibly most people don’t really want to know how someone really is and just expect a “fine” answer like it’s automatic and irrelevant. This unconsciousness needs to be changed so we become more aware of people in the moment. Some cultures have much better greetings than the American “how are you?” like the Hawaiian Aloha.

I never ask the How are you question unless I sincerely want an answer and want to know how someone really is doing and feeling even, although that takes more time. My friends know that I mean it when I ask them how they are and there is an element of reciprocity in it too that is meaningful and honest. They know I want to listen, that it is important to me and they are relevant in my life.

How do you ask the question? How are you? Do you stop and look someone in the eye and wait for a real answer? Do you mean it sincerely or is it just something you use without thinking or being aware? Do you care? Ask yourself the question before you walk right on by again just because you’re busy. And what answer do you use automatically without thinking when someone asks you. Is it a lie? Do you just say I’m busy and dismiss any chance to make a real connection? Maybe, just possibly, if we as human beings started being more honest with this seeming simple question it would be a better world and we would all feel more connected on a daily basis.

Written by ccwriter

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