\”How are you?\” Have you been asked this lately? What was the answer you gave? If you spoke it, what was the answer given? Probably the most typical answer is \”I\’m fine\” or \”Okay\”. Maybe we hear, if we know the person pretty well, an honest answer like \”Not so well.\” or \”My back is killing me.\” or \”I need a vacation!\” or \”Doing great!\” that is usually accompanied with a reason why he/she is doing so well.
Something I\’ve noticed in the past few years, that seems to be picking up momentum, is the answer \”I\’m good.\” Are you encountering the same thing or is it just the people I interact with a way up here in Minnesota?
Language changes over time, we all know that, and I\’ve now lived long enough to witness multiple slight and not so slight changes in the English language. So, is the word \”good\” changing meaning? Is it coming to mean \”Okay\” or \”Fine\”? Or, is the fact that we use it a reflection of a change in us? Could it denote that we\’re aware of a moral deficiency in our culture and we\’re trying to tip the scales back, by being \”good\” when people ask? On a more personal note, could it denote a moral deficiency in our own life that we\’re consciously or unconsciously trying to offset? I mean, truly good people don\’t go around announcing it, do they?
Maybe its use signifies a shift in our culture that morality is coming back. That it matters. That goodness is a quality to strive for, or become. That life-giving qualities of goodness like virtue, kindness, righteousness and benevolence make a difference in our life and in the life of our society. Could it be that Americans want to be \”good\”? Could it be that we\’re tired of drowning in our own immorality, so we\’re inaugurating (or maybe reflecting) a shift in consciousness by saying \”good\” when asked how we are? Don\’t know…guess we’ll know for sure in time, huh? Until then, \”How are you?\”