Tarun Sanda / Silhouette Staff

“Hi, how are you?”

We hear this phrase countless times in our day. We could be delivering it, or be on the receiving end of it.

At times we have this interaction with acquaintances as we’re passing by one another, with barely enough time to stop and make eye contact and respond.

At times it seems like we’re all more focused on our phones than the people in front of us. This brings me to my question. When you come across someone and ask them how they are doing, or how their day went, do you really mean it?

When you’re on the receiving end of this question, are you answering truthfully?

The Super Bowl is less than two weeks away.

NFL fans across the globe are anticipating the conclusion to one of the most exciting post seasons in recent memory. However just a few months ago, the NFL and the sporting world was struck by tragedy.

Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, several times, drove to the team’s headquarters, ducked behind a car and put a bullet through his head. It was the seventh suicide of a current or former NFL player in the past two years.

“We’d just been together,” says Brady Quinn, now a Chiefs quarterback. “I’d just seen him and his girlfriend and his little girl, Zoey, at the stadium. We were talking about how she was doing, how cute she was.”

Many times we lose touch with our good friends. We are immersed in our own personal lives, and in turn make friends with the people who remain part of our busy day. Life goes on and friends change.

What if that’s only your side of the story?

What if your best friend in high school still has trouble replacing that close friend that was once you?

They could be dealing with something severe. Something they cannot share with someone they just met. They need a friend; they need you, but might not even reach out to you in the first place. They’d face every problem on their own. But it’s hard doing it alone.

Recently an old friend of mine had called me at 2 a.m. He was in tears. He told me his story. He told me how he tried to kill himself.

How he wanted the pain to stop.

I spoke to him till sunrise, and once I knew he was okay, I thanked him.

I could not imagine what might have happened had he not mustered the courage to pick up the phone and call me.

Nobody ever wants to be in a situation where you begin asking yourself: “Why didn’t he or she reach out to me?

Had I known I would have stopped everything and gone to them.”

You never know what’s going on with somebody. The look on their face can be deceiving. They may say they’re fine, but you may never know the truth.

What you can do is try to make a sincere effort to connect with people.

Take a minute out of your day to ask how someone’s day went.

The smallest things, be it a gentle smile while passing by or a simple wave across a lecture hall, can make someone feel noticed and respected.

Maybe that might keep them from doing something tragic, leaving you, and everyone else, filled with regret.

 

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