I'm feeling a bit playful this afternoon, so I'm hoping you'll indulge me. Who says I don't have a sense of fun and the ridiculous?
How are You?
This would have to be a frequently asked question, don't you think? Despite the false humility we hide behind, we do like the opportunity to talk about ourselves. Only if the time is right and we suspect you might be interested, mind you. Otherwise you'll get one of our standard replies that mean nothing but sound as if they do.
Ok. Let's assume you might be interested in finding out how we are. What are you really asking? Do you want to know how we are feeling, our mood, about our health. Yes? Now that would be what we expect and, most times, we'd be happy to give you the good oil. On the other hand, you would be one very unusual person, and you would have some of us a little concerned about you, if you were instead asking “how” we are what we are, or how did we become what we are. That is, asking how we came to be male, female, wise, foolish, thoughtful, kind, cruel or whatever. How we came to be born at all; to be sentient; to have a brain; a sense of self and so on.
Very deep and complex questions, and I, for one, would not have a sensible answer for any of them.
It doesn't hurt to ask though, does it? There have to be answers somewhere. Want to share?
Who are you?
What if you didn't mean our name, or our job, or our role, or what position we held in the community? Who are we, apart from where we fit in to a family, a job, a community? That may see us a little unsettled, casting about for the words to describe ourselves cut free from the usual labels.
Are you a wife, a husband, a parent, a grandparent, someone's child, a sibling, a cousin? Do you have a title? A role?
Is that the sum total of you?
I am a husband, a father, a son, a brother. I like to write. I love my family. I love to read, to think about stuff, and to travel. I am empathetic, occasionally cranky and impatient, naturally slothful and a bit of a dreamer.
Is that essentially who I am? Is there more to me than that?
What thread of “you” connects all that you are, and have been, and will be? If you were to ask me I wouldn't have a sensible answer for this question either. Do you?
Where are you?
What? Relative to the chair we're sitting on? In front of, behind, or beside people near us? The room we're in? Our house, street, city, state, country? Are we wondering if we need sat/nav?
Might you be interested in which hemisphere we're currently in, which planet we're on, near which star, or where in the cosmos we are? How about where we are in the space-time continuum? Phew!
Might you instead just be exasperated that we're late? Might you be surprised that we've ducked out of sight unexpectedly?
Or might you perhaps be interested in where we see ourselves in relation to our life journey; the achievement of our goals and dreams?
Another simple and frequently asked question that carries within it the seeds of madness for those so inclined.
If trying to answer those three made you scratch your head, you might like to avoid these:
What are you?
When are you?
Which are you?
Why are you?
(This last one would really be messing with your mind so feel free to ignore it).