This question! I hear it everyday, people saying it to other people without even giving them a second look, repeatedly, tirelessly! Hello, how are you? It has become a mundane sentence that has lost it’s depth. I’ve seen and heard people say these words and not even wait for the other person to respond.
“Hello. How are you?”
What’s the point anymore?
Let me explain myself. There was a time in my life when everything fell apart, it was so bad that I didn’t even know how I would be able to pick up myself and face tomorrow. I was constantly in tears. I was in depression mode for months. My whole world was in pieces.
You know how they say, “when it rains, it pours?“. Well, it was pouring!
Three months pregnant, with a three year old daughter, I was put out on the streets because he never paid rent or even made an effort. Suicidal thoughts crept in, I tried to take my own life with folic-acid and iron vitamin pills, which only left me with a nausea’s feeling for two days. I lost my job that was paying peanuts and my husband tried to kill me with a broom stick. I just got away.
I ended up in a save house for abused woman and children. (Yes, do not be so shocked, I am also a survivor.) Two months later this save house closed down, again I had to find a place to stay. A week later, an angel drove all the way from Gordon’s Bay to pick up myself and my daughter so we could move to Cape Town. Bless her soul!!! During this time period in my life so many people asked me how I was and my answer was “I am okay” LIES!!
How many times have you been asked this question and responded with a lie? How many times have you asked this question because you genuinely cared about the person and how they were doing? Not just as a courtesy but out of the sincerity of your heart? If you listen carefully, if you look closely enough you can hear the person screaming
“I need help” “please listen to me”.
Have you ever been in this situation? Do you know how it feels when you’re screaming for help and no one is listening?
When I got to Cape Town, I was 5 months pregnant. I was scared. The Big City life!!! I stayed with my friend for a few days until she told me she got a place for us to stay, a save house for abused woman and children. Once again I was confused. The next day she and her mother dropped me off at the house, they made sure I was okay before they left. One of the ladies that stayed in the house, showed me around. I was in shock at the number of mom’s with children staying at the house. There was absolutely no shortage of anything. There was enough food, enough toiletries, more than enough bedding. The thought of this being my home for a few months was just too overwhelming for me. I burst into tears of joy. I will always be grateful for the love and care I received at the save house.
It was a time in my life where I had to fight my battles alone, I had to get myself together. I used this time to heal myself, to get rid of the emotional baggage, to make time for myself. What about all those people who asked me “how are you?“
Well. They never pitched up to help me.
It was in this heartbroken, scared, confused time of my life that I made the decision, never will I ignore someone’s answer on this question. I will always take the time to listen, I will always try to help were I can, because when I needed that shoulder, or the hug, or those ears, very few people were there for me. No one took me serious enough to recognize that I needed help except for that one angel, which will always be the angel that saved me.
So, hello how are you?
Do not ever ask this question just because it is a habit, treat this question with more respect! It is not courtesy if you ask someone how they are and not actually listen to them. If you’re not interested in hearing how someone is, then don’t ask them because they might just open up and tell you all their demons and what are you gonna do, ignore them? We are all fighting battles and kindness is important, however, dis-genuine care is not kindness at all. So, the next time you ask someone how they are be prepared to actually listen.