3 Little Words
Grant James is a well-known actor and friend of mine from Dallas. In fact’ he’s in Dumb and Dumber To with Jim Carrey that will be released in November. Jim recently had a health scare with a bleeding ulcer than landed him in the hospital needed 4 pints of blood. This is a follow-up to his Seek and Serve article from July 19th.
Three little words can make a difference.
You may have thought the three little words I have in mind might be, “I Love You,” and they are probably a good topic for a future article on sometimes-meaningless phrases.
But let me propose the words, “How are you?” can be powerful if there is true interest behind them.
Other versions are, “How you doin’?” “You doin’ okay?” and “Howdy” (short for: “How do ye?”).
Not too long ago (after I’d spent some time in the hospital) I ran into a maintenance man at our apartment complex. “How you feelin’?” he asked. And then he did an unusual thing; he waited for an answer! He really wanted to know!
Obviously, he caught my attention. People ask this question in one form or other many times a day. But who is really interested? In fact, we are so used to others not caring, that we don’t even answer.
Do you really care how I am? Did anyone really ask Robin Williams—ask in a way that he could honestly answer?
Okay, some people thrive on telling you just how they are. Groan! One of the funniest actors I’ve ever worked with would answer with a full, up-to-date medical report. That’s extreme! I learned very quickly not to ask that person the three little words. But that’s an exception.
Almost everyone we know is dealing with some pretty heavy issues—issues they could use some help or encouragement with.
If we took, “How are you?” seriously, it would probably slow down the crowd working past the church greeters on Sunday morning, but they might get a little more than the sermon.
Words have meaning, even when they are just tossed out. We know when someone really cares.
Think about it. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.