“How are you?”
“Comment ça va?”
Asking “How are you?” is the most universal way to engage in any conversation with another person, no matter the language.
First, we greet them, then we ask how they are doing — It’s basically an automated opening phrase by now.
Yet, out of the thousands upon thousands of times we have asked this question to someone else, how often — how many times — have we actually meant it?
Furthermore, how often do we actually turn the switch on in our brains to intentionally listen and care about what the other person is saying?
Naturally, if it’s our friend or loved one or someone who is close to us, we will pay attention to them, but why not to other people?
It’s to no one’s surprise that we ask someone how they’re doing out of pure courtesy. But, has it ever occurred to anyone that people might actually want to tell you — to tell anyone, for that matter — how they’re really doing?
Of course, we’re all “too busy” to ever really sit and listen.
With the increasing percentage of people living with depression, it’s about time we start paying attention to the other people around us and not just our friends, family, and loved ones.
It’s about time that we intentionally ask people how they are doing and truly listen to what they are saying.
There are so many people who are hurting in this world — So many people who are going through struggle, who are grieving, who are in pain. But, we’re too isolated from one another to ever notice.
We’re looking down at our phones, blocking out the noise with our headphones, turning away from the people who don’t matter to us.
But, it’s about time that we make people really feel like they matter — And that’s by actually listening.
I like to believe that good still triumphs over evil. That people can be genuinely kind. That people can show compassion.
I still have faith.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” — Maya Angelou
At the end of the day, we are all humans. We all have to coexist in this world. We all feel the same things. And we need to finally understand and acknowledge that.