You see familiar face drenched in his own blood and rain, limping. Then you ask the most obnoxious question, “Are you okay?” for the most parts, even if the person was born with a silver sarcastic spoon in his mouth, he’d probably say, “yeah man, I’m fine” or “yeah i’m fine! so how to you find vomiting my gut out so far?” Either way, we’d still ask the question. As though it is a part of the SOP of Friendship 101
Why is it that we bother to ask the obvious, is it to validate our curiosity? To commiserate? Is it a response to the societal measure of humanity in which you will earn the greatest friend award of the year?
Then he replied, “I’m fine” while you watch him bleed profusely.
You asked him again insensitively and this, brought about the same answer. “I’m fine”.
This also holds truth when a friend lost a lover. After all the sulking, boxes of tissue, consuming of alcohol and endless conversations with at least 3 or more curses one after the other, we ask: Are you really okay? Naturally, our friend will reply “Never been better in my entire life!” /endsarcasm
We ask people that seemingly inane question because we wanted them to think that Hey! I am being a good friend. You know, the one who’d patiently listen to every spout and bluster. Simply, we ask the people we care about that question because we wanted them to lie. We know this person too well and too long for him not to be fine.
These hurting people, in return are more than willing to lie than we can imagine. Relatively, it is easier to say two words proceeded with an eternity of ellipses rather than finding the right words and expressions to spell out the rage and chaos inside.
In other words, mutual ass kissing. That’s friendship for you, ladies and gents.
So next time don’t be remotely stupid to ask that futile question. Just sit beside him quietly: because in that silence, we share the same anxiety, angst and pain. We can then be called a good friend by just sitting there, breathing and not insanely trying to make things better by bad-mouthing. Because the last thing she would want to do is to lie again about her feelings being fine when the person she loves just lied to her face and went off with some plastic-looking girl you probably see on MTV.
“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares”. -Henri Nouwen
Now you go google who the hell Henri Nouwen isRead More