• Shawn Hosford

How Are You?

How Are You?

Those three small words are asked at the checkout counter, when seeing a friend, or even when encountering strangers. It seems as if “How are you?” has become a habitual hello or rhetorical question in our community.

When Carly first moved to Durban, South Africa, she noticed people asked “How are you?” wanting more than the Seattle normal of “good” or “fine” or “busy, thanks” efficiency. Carly said they would often pause then not continue on until a meaningful response was given.

The other day while helping a friend celebrate her birthday I was asked how I was on a scale of 1 to 10? It was clear that my friend genuinely wanted to know.

Since then I have thought more deeply about how I am. While diving into my well being I pondered God’s grace. I have been graced with an ability to see the sadnesses and inequality in the world. I know I saw this clearly as a child as well. I do my best not to consume violence through movies or TV shows and have yet to be desensitized to it generally.

On Friday while listening to Democracy Now I found myself in tears over the genocide, colonization, and greed by Morocco.

There was also awe amongst my tears — awe that this community could stand against such abhorrent oppression and colonization. My mind pondered the subject of colonization and a small minority's insatiable thirst to dominate all resources. It seems like an unfortunate and devastating tradition since the beginning of time.

As tears flowed I considered the gift of delving deeply. It is quite humbling to be alive and awake during this time in history. I dwelled on the grace of bearing witness with an open heart and using my privilege to act on and answer the question of how I am doing.

If I didn't say it to my friend on her birthday, I will answer more fully now. I am sad. I feel guilt. I want more for all who are being unjustly killed, oppressed, and ravaged by greed. I want to make bigger changes as a community, locally and globally. I am confused by complacency and apathy. Sometimes, I am disheartened.

I will continue to be thankful for God’s grace, for all the privileges I have, and the gift of open and honest living with and through them in the pursuit of extending them to all.

How are you?