Some Unexpected Feedback about the “How are You” Experiment
Posted Monday, September 12th, 2011
In my last post, I suggested that we try an experiment in bringing some genuine caring to the quick little interactions we have with folks during the course of the day.
My own experience was enjoyable and encouraging. I simply asked the “how are you” question with real sincerity, and most of the people I talked to (maybe 75%) appeared to welcome my questions and seemed eager to start a little conversation.
Those encounters almost always quickly became joyous, and I got the impression that the opportunity to talk with someone who really seemed to care was a gift in itself. (As a sidebar, I found it interesting how many of the interactions concerned the person’s work and often reflected unhappiness or boredom with his or her situation.)
On several occasions, I complimented check-out people at grocery stores about how efficiently they were packing the bags, and that simple compliment seemed to be enormously important. One person even said that I had made her day. Wow!
The most enjoyable report I received about others’ experiments was from Pat McDonald of Alma, Michigan. She wrote:
“Here in our little town we still have a gas station that has attendants who pump gas, wash the windows, check the oil, etc for the customers. So I stopped in today and Bubba was working. I automatically asked, “How are you?” and she said, “I’m sweating my ass off, but other than that I’m fine!” We both exploded into laughter and I thanked her for her honesty.
Then I proceeded to tell her about you and the experiment and how our greetings have become trite and mechanical. At any rate we did have a very fine discussion about this and agreed that we distance and separate ourselves from the people in our communities mostly out of habit and lack of awareness. Then she opened up and shared her story and the difficult time she is going through. So needless to say, it was a grand human moment we shared.”
And then another voice weighed in.
Most of you know that I continue to receive and transcribe messages/teachings from somewhere outside of my own conscious mind. Apart from the ones in the book, I seldom share them with others, but this is going to be an exception.
During the week last week, I sat down and wrote the following:
“Be yourself today. Truly be yourself – your true self. It is so very easy to fall into the pattern of reacting to people or situations in the physical world around you from the perspective of your human identity without even pausing to focus on who you really are or how your human beingness is falling victim to the illusions that present themselves all day long.
Pause at the beginning of each day (and as often as you can remember to during your waking hours) to acknowledge, and give thanks for, and reconnect with your true identity as a spiritual being.
You are perfect and unblemished and radiant. You are a unique expression of me and of my essence. Your expression of your true identity in the world is a magnet for your good. It is a blessing to you and to others, and it will connect with the true identities of others, whether you or they recognize it at all.
You have been thinking about the mindless chatter of the interactions humans typically have with each other upon their first encounters, and you are realizing that these rote comments, which generally are said without thought or sincerity, are in the form of questions about the well being of the other, and yet in the vast majority of instances reflect no sincerity of interest in the response.
And the responses typically fall into that same pattern – a rote comment that in most cases does little or nothing to convey any sense of truth or honesty about their human condition.
For starters, try to reconnect with your true identity prior to each of those interactions you might have today. Recognize and accept the truth of your own true identity and that of the other person – and your spiritual unity with each other – before uttering a word and initiate the interaction from that perspective. See what happens.
In some instances, the other person’s response may seem to be the same seemingly unthinking, patterned comment to which almost all humans have become accustomed. But in others it will be clear to you that your spiritual beingness has connected with theirs. The truth is, however, that in some way your interactions will be at a higher level, whether or not it is apparent to you.
By taking these simple steps, you can do much to bring greater light into the world. Enjoy yourself today.”
That should offer plenty of food for thought, so I’ll say goodbye for now.
© Copyright Jack Armstrong 2011