Commentary

November 8, 2013

Three little words: How are you?

Master Sgt. Linda Welz
452 AMW public affairs

As I entered the base Saturday morning for my Unit Training Assembly, the polite security forces Airman on duty said, “How are you?” As he checked my ID card, I replied, “I’m doing well, thank you. How are you?” Before I had finished my reply, he said, “Thank you. Have a nice day,” and directed his attention to the next vehicle coming toward the gate.

I realize it was a busy morning for him, but I wondered why he had asked the question if he really didn’t care to hear the answer. And, more importantly, why had I given the expected response and asked the same back to him? Was it habit; a conditioned reflex like Pavlov’s dog? He could have just given me a simple greeting or said nothing, and I could have not answered nor asked the same back to him. He would not have noticed.

The more I thought about what had just occurred, the more I realized that these three little words can have such an impact on a life, depending on whether they make a difference to the person saying them or to the person hearing them.

A good wingman should be sincere when asking the question, “How are you?” A good wingman should wait for the answer and make sure it isn’t just a learned response, but instead the truth about how that member is making it through the day or how that person is doing in life in general.

Listening is a skill that takes time, which is a precious commodity in these days of getting everything done yesterday. I agree that our time is precious. We may not have the luxury of getting into a conversation with someone about details that may be causing him or her stress. But, we should take from our Wingman concept and make sure to follow through when we ask the question.

We are given the same amount of time as our forefathers were, but with the increase of technology, there has been a decrease in the time used for human interaction.

As a society, we have turned many in our younger generations into texting fools, without the ability to listen to others or express their own feelings without the use of their thumbs. People have become more isolated, not having to converse with each other.

In today’s society, one can go through school, even college, without ever stepping a foot into a traditional classroom; one can attend church services online, missing an essential purpose of the services—fellowship.

We’ve become a society where many of its members are cocooned and separated from each other. How many times have you called a company only to be sent through the ringer of, “for yada yada, push one; for blah blah, push 2…?” Have you ever just wanted to talk to a real, live person?

Sometimes I just need a hug.

Caring and compassion take commitment, especially in these stressful times of doing more with less. It all points back to the timeless, Golden Rule that I heard as a child; “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” In other words, treat others the way you want to be treated.

With that in mind, ask yourself if your wingman is well physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually? Let’s start by asking the question sincerely or not at all. How are you?

If we ask, “How are you?” let’s carefully listen to the response. Don’t let it go if the reply is the standard, “Fine.” but instead, ask again, “How are you really?” You may be surprised by the answer.

Let’s continue by knowing our own physical, emotional, social and spiritual status. By knowing ourselves better, we are more able to answer the question honestly when it is asked of us. If the person asking the question to you talks over you, give them a copy of this commentary.

There are many resources available for us to share and draw from in order to help someone or help ourselves, such as our very own Frank Pavone at 951-655-4551. March also has a 24/7 Crisis Reporting Line at 951-655-7272 Other resources are the Safe Helpline at 877-995-5247, Military One Source at 800-342-9647 and the Wingman Toolkit at 800-273-TALK or AFRC.WingmanToolkit.org. Tell us how you are at facebook.com/TeamMarch.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
DoD photo by Casper Manlangit

Pentagon salutes Dr. King’s life, legacy

DoD photo by Casper Manlangit Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work makes remarks during a Martin Luther King Jr. observance at the Pentagon, Jan. 15, 2015. WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Defense Department members gathered Jan. 15 at t...
 
 

CSAF utilizes new technologies to engage with Airmen

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Chief of Staff of the Air Force Mark A. Welsh III teamed up with Google to launch a live discussion with Airmen from bases around the world, using video chat technology. Airmen asked both the general and his wife, Betty Welsh, questions about Air Force life, ranging anywhere from future mission and...
 
 
George A. Smith

Culture shock: Returning to America after 26 years

George A. Smith German autobahn drivers get to drive as fast as they want. In Southern California, it’s good they can’t. When I first came to Southern California after living 26 years in Germany, I heard questions from tann...
 

 
HBI--New-You-2015-150px

Tips to help keep your New Year’s resolution

New Year’s resolutions are easier to make than to keep, especially when it comes to dieting. While life can often seem at odds with your health and fitness goals, there are plenty of ways to avoid common pitfalls this new yea...
 
 
DoD-safety-pic

Safety, common sense help ensure happy holidays

I’ve always felt there are two important things to keep in mind during the holidays: Don’t let baby mistake the light-up nose on your Rudolph decoration for her “Baby’s 1st Christmas” pacifier, and go easy on the rum ...
 
 

CAL FIRE warns of home heating dangers during winter storms

As a major winter storm prepares to hit California, CAL FIRE is reminding residents to take steps to heat their homes safely. While the cooler weather and rain is a welcomed event during a time of severe drought in California, it also means that many will need to turn on home heating sources to keep...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin