ink for thought: and how are you?

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

and how are you?

we all know what it's like. it's been done to us and, if we're honest, we've probably done it a few times ourselves. the smile (with or without teeth), the limp-wristed hand shake, the sympathetic tilt of the head, the lifeless, empty..."Hi, how are you?"

I understand that social norms exist for a reason. I recognise the need for niceties, pleasantries and politeness. and of course one must appreciate the function that the unwritten social contract that governs each and every exchange plays in maintaining a sense of order in society. BUT,

"How are you?" is not a vague, ephemeral concept. it is not abstract, distant and unrelated to who I am. I cannot comment on it like a work of art, a current event or the weather. I can't just click 'LIKE' and move on.

you see, when you ask how I am, you're asking about my hopes, however grand and my fears, however terrible. you're asking if I still wake up feeling distraught in the middle of the night, if I still shed tears at the thought of loved ones lost, if I've found peace with my purpose in life, if I've begun to dream again, if I love myself enough to try loving others and if I trust you enough not to lie about the answer.

when you ask how I am, you release the genie from his lamp and fearsome is his wrath.

just something to bear in mind

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