I want to say this ‘kid’ makes a valid point. But then, looking at the handwriting I decided the evidence is not conclusive, this could have been me at age 40, so maybe I shouldn’t rush to any conclusions about the lifespan of the author based on penmanship. Whoever wrote this is clearly a philosopher though.
Why do we ask how people are? Clearly, most of the time we don’t really care. Well… I certainly don’t care how you are, unless you’re part of my niche circle of friends, family and confidants. This trite exchange has been drilled into me since birth and reinforced through social convention and it’s a difficult one to shake.
I have (lately) been trying to end my salutations with hi and hello and not necessarily take it to the next superfluous step. People are reluctant to leave it there though, most of the time I am ‘good’. I mean unless I have a gushing head wound, or other circumstance that may potentially be accelerating my demise faster than I would prefer. But having to constantly underscore that I’m ‘good’ feels like I’m bragging.
I tried briefly substituting other words into the standard formulaic exchange. But quickly found people weren’t really listening to what I was saying anyway. Or if they were listening it quickly becomes awkward for them. Words like irritable bowel syndrome and femoral hernia are like spike traps in the conversation free flow… especially if all you want is a pint and a pack of Marlboro.
In any event, I think we should stop doing it. Drinking, smoking and asking people how they are. Maybe give it up for lent… or take up a 30 day challenge. I think we’d all be better off.