what can we ask right now instead of how are you?16 Nov 2016
i’ve thought a lot about (and even done some writing about) alternatives to the ‘what do you do’ question. some of that is because it’s just annoying and boring to repeatedly answer the same question at social gatherings. some of it is because i think it’s in the small, but ubiquitous things that culture shifts. i have a theory that if everyone started asking 'what are you dreaming about these days?’ instead of 'what do you do?’ we’d see a culture shift over time away from our identities defined by our work.
in the past week, i’ve definitely noticed and experienced resistance to the standard question: “how are you?” although, as a general practice, i try to be honest when i answer this question, lately i’ve been feeling real tired of answering it. i’ve also heard people take the question back after they’ve answered it and i’ve heard people say “i don’t really want to talk about how i’m doing.”
i do actually think it’s really important to know how each other is doing, but i also think that this is a moment for culture shifting (even if just at a small scale/geography) intervention. what can we ask each other that moves us in the direction we want to be headed? some ones i’m going to test out today:
- what are you listening to that’s keeping you going right now?
- what (if anything) makes you hopeful in this moment?
- what are you doing to resist and/or fight?
definitely curious about other people’s thoughts on this!