"How are You?"
We pass by each other and they ask, "How You doin?" In the VA hospital I encountered hundreds of people who do not know me.. Without slowing their pace or even maintaining eye contact they would ask in passing, "How are You today?" As if it was a pre programmed greeting.. With no time to listen for a response. If they cared they would wait for a response.. People don't care. Not enough to honestly be interested. There hasn't been enough trust built yet for me to tell the truth.. yeah. Its sad but we all know its the truth..
"I'm fine. and You?" They are far enough past me that my question to them is not responded to. I've lost the ability to continue this phony game of human contact.. It took me to a bitter place and I didn't like it there.. "Fine" is a lie. Its a cover up. It's as dishonest as we can possibly be... So I changed the ways I respond... I'm good. Who, Me.? Above Ground. Peachy. or completely disregard their question and reply, "Sir, or Ma'am.". This isn't a new thing for me.. I've been avoiding that question, "How You doin?" for most of my life.. I can imagine their heads exploding if I actually replied truthfully.
Imagine this scenario.
I'm not doing well today. I woke up remembering all the horrific things i saw in my sleep last night. I didn't sleep much because of it.. The insomnia is related to my depression and the suicidal thoughts usually don't wait till after breakfast. I've been thinking about a grieving friend who lost their child to disease and is not coping well. The morning news has me convinced that the government is corrupt and that the election is rigged. The VA has forgot its mission statement and there is no one who honors their Oath of Office. We have people living and dying in the streets every day while some have more than they can spend. No, I don't want them to be governed into doing whats right.. but their greed has effected their humanity.. and How are you.?
As a member of this species, we are compelled to care for one another.. that includes our time. It takes time and effort to be concerned for your fellow man.. If I ask you, How are you.? I want the truth. If you say, Fine. Im calling Bullshit. We Are Not Fine. Each of us have our own issues and demons. Each of us need the counsel of our dear friends. thats what friends do.. I remember learning early, "you got two ears and one mouth, listen twice as much". Listen to people. yes, it might be the wrong time or setting to have that conversation but,,, let them know that you care. that you are willing to listen if they want to talk.. Engage people. We all need help. and sometimes, the best advice comes from strangers. (tell your problem to a stranger and, trust me, you will get an opinion..)
Helping others benefits you. Do you remember how good you felt the last time you truly helped someone..? I call them warm fuzzies.. We all have the ability to help someone. and we all know someone who needs help.. A restaurant gift card for your neighbors date night. Yeah, volunteer to watch their kids. It's a gift.. and let the gift be your only motivation.. Know your friends well enough that you know what will help them... thats big stuff right there... It will change Your life for sure..
It just takes time...
Until next time,