Today at work, I was heading away from my desk and saw a co-worker. I asked, “How are you?” and he basically shrugged in response, and said “You don’t really want to know how I am. It’s just a greeting.”
Well, it led to a short conversation about this simple question, with just three words: HOW ARE YOU? I said that usually, when I ask, yes it’s a passing question. However, if I pay attention and notice something’s off, I will stop and ask what’s going on.
My co-worker had a point though – too many of us are going around, asking how people are, but we’re not really interested in the answer. Most times, we’re just flying by and don’t even wait for a response, whether it’s good or bad.
Now I know that we can’t stop and have conversations with everybody we encounter every day, but could we perhaps make it a point to ask one person a week – HOW ARE YOU, REALLY?
I am not saying everybody who answers “Good” or “Fine” are depressed and sad. But it will surprise you if you actually take the time out to know how someone really feels.
At my [former] church, there’s this one girl who asks and is very observant. I had rattled off, “I’m fine.” once and she stopped and said, “I don’t think so. I’ve been watching you and you seem to have lost your spark. What’s going on?” I truly almost burst into tears that day, but it was touching to see that someone wanted to know how I really felt.