It's a question we are conditioned to ask. Even when we could care less or are too busy to talk. Asked as a greeting and often in passing. By strangers, coworkers and friends.
It's a heavy question with a rote answer.
Because more often than not, our answer is usually the same. "Fine."
And I think of all the times I'm asked "How are you?" and I answer "Fine."
Even on days when I'm not.
On days when the pain is unbearable.
On days I'm not feeling so lucky.
I think of how I ask the question of others and I hear the same answer.
We can't all be fine.
And sometimes people just need to be honest and own their feelings. Sometimes they real answer needs to be coaxed out.
The next time you ask someone "how are you?"
And you will know whether or not they are really fine.
And if think they are not fine, ask them "Are you sure?"