I come to you with this post because many times during church events this weekend, I've been asked this question. In America, some would say that it's a simple way to say "Hello."
When someone asks me "How are you?", I have an internal battle. Do I answer with a simple, "I'm good?" Or do they really want to know how I'm doing?
If we were talking about asking the actual question to see how a person is holding up, I'd have a lot to say. I'd say that I'm about to have a breakdown. Bills are stacking up. There isn't enough money to take care of simple things like our water bill, gas, or electric bills. We're at risk of losing everything we have. Food is scarce and I had to send my daughter to her grandmothers for the week because of the lack of food. I'd tell them that I'm sitting here, on my birthday, stomach growling and one option.... pasta. I could boil it up and add some butter for my meal. That's what I'm looking at for my food during the day....well at least until dinner.
I would say that emotionally I'm a wreck. My anxiety is through the roof and no matter what I do to ease it, it's still there. There's always something to put me at the edge of being okay and having a full blown panic attack.
I would tell them that I feel helpless. I watch my husband work every day, bust his hind end for the pennies he makes, and then on payday.... stress about which bill is the most important to pay and which bill he has enough for. I feel helpless because getting a job myself doesn't look good without a drivers license, car, and babysitter. Some say.... "Oh, you should put them in daycare." Once again... it's expensive and something we don't have the money for.
Most of the time, I when asked, "How are you?".... I just smile and say, "I'm good." But in all honesty, do people really ask this to see where you're at in life, how you feel, and what not?
When I ask, I'm REALLY asking the question. I ask it to those whom I care about to show them my interest within their own lives. I ask this so I can see if there's anything they need prayer for.
So... I'm asking you.... what do you mean when you ask, "How are you?"