How Are You?

This short question may not seem like much upon first glance. It exists in every language of the world, is expressed through different letters, sounds, symbols and word formation – and yet, through whichever culture’s eyes you see it, it means the same thing – how are you?

What is often considered a simple conversation starter, is in fact a much deeper chance to enter another’s world, and see how they are doing. ‘How are you?’ shouldn’t just be thought of as a meaningless acknowledgement of someone else’s existence, for it holds behind it a number of other questions that have the power to offer support, emotional release, and perhaps even the solution to a problem.

How are you? – Are you in pain? Have you spoken to anyone today? Have you eaten yet? Are you warm? Is your family doing alright? Are you being bullied? Can I help?

If you look back prior to this moment in your life, how often do you, sincerely, get asked this question? And how often do you, sincerely, ask others?

In no way am I implying that you are responsible for constantly checking on others without taking care of yourself. However, on a large scale, many of our world’s global problems and cultural misunderstandings stem from this incredible lack of acknowledging, or taking any interest in, someone’s current physical and emotional state.

On a smaller scale, it creates emotional states where people begin to distance themselves from the world, simply because they no long feel like anyone cares how they are doing. Others come to them with a torrent of problems, complaints and sadness, and once they vent, they desert the scene of their flood, without ever asking the listener, “How are you?”

When people are left to feel deserted and uncared for, their internal demons start to surface, sit on their back, and begin weighing them down towards depression, anxiety, lack of self-worth, and in the worst case, a premature end.

You are not responsible for all the human beings of the world, and you are not expected to single-handedly change the mayhem that surrounds us. But if you can take an occasional break from your own life and dedicate just a short amount of it to listen to someone’s answer to ‘How are you?’ you may just be the pull back to reality that the person needed.

And if you feel bitter about this because no one is asking you this question either, so how unfair for you to sacrifice your time when others won’t… well, someone has to start, and your kindness will find its way back to you in the end.

How are you?

 speak out

“Adulthood is a Myth”

I feel that the only appropriate way to start the New Year is to remind ourselves that adulthood is, indeed, a myth.

Part open admission from an ‘adult’, part genuine admiration for Sarah Andersen’s work in “Adulthood is a Myth”; because I can’ t think of a better title for the period of life that so many young people yearn for and think will bring them clarity, a sense of purpose, or a new age where they will be in full control of themselves, their surroundings, and the temptations which they will face on a daily basis. This isn’t to say that adulthood is in no way different from childhood, or that it doesn’t have it’s perks. But it certainly doesn’t provide the psychological stability or the unlimited freedom that children expect it to, and that many adults pretend they have.

I spotted Sarah’s comics on Tumblr a long time ago and really enjoyed bumping into them every once in a while. However, I had no idea where these comics were coming from since, at the time, there weren’t as many people fighting for artists’ rights as there are now (that’s a whole new post to come in the future). So first and foremost, I am delighted to see that the original creator has received recognition for her work, which has hopefully contributed to a great career. Few things are fully, or at all, altered in adulthood.

Most people enter the adult world (which is here considered the age of 18) with few achievements – and that’s ok. Some enter the adult world with trophies and badges that suddenly don’t shine as bright in the world of adults where confusion, competition, and confused competition loom over everything. And even though it may not seem like it at first, that’s ok too.

If you are making resolutions for the New Year and trying to plan as much of it as possible, while this is certainly helpful, remember that life hasn’t changed that much from the playgrounds and school corridors of your youth. Not everyone will share their toys with you, even though in ‘adulthood’ they should understand that some people still can’t afford a game console. Not everyone will share their notebooks with you, even though the idea of grades should be long gone by now. Not everyone will compliment your new clothes, not everyone will have the decency to refrain from spreading false rumours, not everyone will want to sit next to you, talk to you, or invite you to their party. Your skin will still have days where it decides to make you resemble a dried plum, and your lunch money could still get stolen on the street.

If you are entering the New Year with a positive and optimistic attitude, great! But don’t forget that some of the most important things you’ve learned from life actually came from your childhood, not from some kind of metamorphosis that was supposed to bring you endless wisdom – but just ended up being another day.

Remember your childhood self. Play, daydream, laugh, eat candy, and be silly every once in a while. You will reach your goals in time.

Because even in an adult state, some of us still keep repeating the same mistakes from a long time ago:

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*This post is in no way sponsored. Featured image source, GoodReads.

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