A day has never gone by without one person asking the other, ‘How are you?’ It’s a common question we all love to ask but which we are neither ready nor have the time to listen to its answer.
Where I come from, the typical reply to this question is ‘I am good’. It’s not a serious question, so people escape its weight by simply stating they are good even when really, they aren’t.
Imagine if one day you met someone by the roadside and you asked how they are and they went ahead to give you some genuine answers. ‘I am frustrated, no jobs out there’ ‘I am in debt, no clue how I will pay it off’, ‘I am heartbroken, he was cheating on me’ We all escape the weight of the question because we do not want the burden of bearing the truth, the burden of taking the extra mile for another person. It’s a waste of time, a complicated affair we like to call it. But really, as humans, how are we?
Are we really fair to the people who need our help but whom we give little attention? Are we human when we begin to roll our eyes as soon as someone tries to express their frustration or disappointment to us? Are we kind when we go to the extent of avoiding others because ‘we will never hear the end of it’? How are we doing?
We are all in a place where we must adapt to self-dependence. To survive and not to be perceived as a bother, it has become safer to answer ‘I am good’ even when we really aren’t. No point in ranting about our problems to people who care little, no need to share your dreams with others who will only laugh or discourage you from exploring your options.
Sometimes you must be good; you must stand on your own. But even as you do that, do not forget to ask, and put out an open ear to that person who may not survive on their own. We are not good.