You know the drill, walk past someone on the street, smile and ask, "how are you?" and go about your day.
To me, growing up in the South, this is what a normal interaction looked like, but one day, I began to realize that if we really go beyond our mediocre how are yours, then we could really, truly, get to know not only strangers that we pass on the street but our closest friends as well.
My friend and I talk about this often, pertaining to really getting to know somebody. To know someone is to know their soul and to be able to be in on that is one of the greatest gifts you could give to someone.
To me, I strive to live intentionally, and that consists of really getting to know the good, bad, and ugly parts of everyone that I interact with or come across.
Everyone is so quick to answer with, "good, you?" when asked how they are, but if we all strive to take it one step forward and really dig down deep into our friends and invest in them, we get to know whats really been going on.
Whether that be simply texting a friend or grabbing a quick coffee with them, it is in those moments that we connect on a different level with our people and help them to realize that we don't want surface level, mediocre interactions with each other, but raw, intentional moments when we take a moment to glance into their soul.
I could recall endless instances where I was crying out for help inside, hoping that someone would take the time to really invest in me and get to know my struggle, instead of simply asking, "how are you?". It is in those moments where our friends begin to realize that our struggles are meant to be taken on as a team.
Next time you ask someone how they are, I challenge you intentionally peak into their soul and take on their struggles as if they are yours as well. It is at that moment when we create raw, intentional relationships with those who we come in contact with.