How are you?

Gianna Caravetta | Opinion Editor | @giannacara

When asked “How are you?” or “How’s your day going?” half the people actually care about how you’re doing. The other half just want to save face.

Of course, that’s an estimation not a statistic, but you get what it implies.

Just think about how many times in a day you ask how someone else is doing or someone asks you how you are doing. Sometimes even after just saying hello to someone, the person assumes you asked how they are and says they’re good.

If you’ve ever seen the video of Ellen DeGeneres talking about this on her talk show, she mentioned that we usually assume the other person will just respond saying that they are good. But she said if someone responds that they are fine, we regrettably have to pause and see what’s up, why they are just fine and not good.

Other times we follow up our question of “How are you?” with “Good? Busy?” because we assume those are the keys to happiness and joy.

With the start of the new semester, we run into so many of our friends we haven’t seen for months. We ask each other similar questions, “How was your summer?” or “How have you been?”

Of course, we care about our friends, and we hope they had a great summer. We are genuinely excited to see them and hopeful to reconnect. But, over the millions of conversations I have overheard around campus asking about each other’s summers, only about half of them seem authentically intrigued with the other’s summer plans. Again, I’m reaching.

If we are to be about living lives that preach goodness, then our day-to-day living must always reflect that. An act as uncomplicated as asking someone how life has been treating them must not be shrugged off as simple and, therefore, unimportant. We must have intention and goodwill to back these gestures up with.

I want my life to be about action, about living out the values I possess, not simply words. Words are beautiful and have so much depth behind them, yet if we don’t live out those words, we are doing a major disservice to ourselves and to others. There is nothing quite as painful as having empty promises attached to the beautiful words we speak.

Next time you ask someone how they’re doing, join me and mean it. Ask, but also be prepared to stop and to listen. Let your voice be heard and use it passionately.

As we start this new semester, let’s be intentional with our loved ones, good friends, and peers. Don’t just be about kindness, joy, and love, go out and live it. And as a quote I found on Pinterest says, “Kindness. It doesn’t cost a [darn] thing. Sprinkle that [stuff] everywhere.”