I’m Fine= Something is Wrong

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Q: “Hey man, are you okay?”

A: “Ya, I’m fine”

Q: “How are you doing?”

A: “I’m fine.”

Q: “Is everything alright with us right now?”

A: “Yes everything is fine.”

Dictionary.com’s first definition of the word fine is “of superior or best quality”. On the contrary, the word fine in today’s hyper-connected society has a whole meaning. When you ask a friend how they are doing, the absolute worst reply you can get is “fine”.  All this really says is that there is definitely something wrong. You can read into the response one of two ways.  It can be taken as your friend does not want to talk about it at all, or conversely, they want you to inquire further and give them an opportunity to vent about why they are fine.

I am not sure how this word’s meaning has made such a drastic transition in the modern context of texting and other modes of communication, but it most definitely has. Tone of my best friends made me aware of this shift in meaning, and once I pondered it I saw the real issue. The problem with today’s touch screen junkie generation is the conflict between one’s need for genuine human interaction and the tremendously impersonal platform on which we all choose to do the majority of our communicating – texting. Do not get me wrong; texting is a beautiful, revolutionary invention that allows us to maintain communication and relationships with people who are time zones and continents away with just a few taps on a screen. However, it reinforces the misperception that a simple text can communicate the wide range and depth of human emotions that are communicated during a face-to-face conversation.

Fine, obviously nothing is fine when you see this term pop up in the middle of a conversation or text.  Our ability to trust and communicate our full range of emotions is something that we each can work on. So next time someone asks you how you are doing think, do not reply with the nearly insulting term fine.  Instead, try some honesty by simply saying, “ I am not in the mood to talk about it right now but thank you for asking because I know you care.” When you respond with the word fine you are not being honest and you are also sending an f mixed signals to the other person.

Regardless of the platform we choose, our words have power. Each word we speak is for a reason.  As Peter Parker’s deceased Uncle said, “With great power, comes great responsibility.”  So next time you are texting, talking or communicating with someone in any way, remember to be intentional with the words choose.

Merry Christmas to All: Be a Saint For Those Who Might Not Have a Santa

Everyone has his or her favorite Christmas memories and traditions.  They are wonderful.  Everything about this time of year if wonderful, isn’t it?  I can specifically remember a time last year as I was leaving the Galleria after doing some Christmas shopping.  I was driving down Alpha Road, and I saw a homeless man sitting out in the cold with a sign that said, “Help me this Christmas”.  It hit me right then and there that the lives most of us live are so blessed that it might be distorting our view that maybe I was focusing on the wrong reason for the season.

You can walk around your average all American mall during this time of year and I can guarantee you will see two types of people. The first are the very nice overly cheerful strangers  who give you  the slightly awkward “Merry Christmas, Stay warm!” The second are , the team scrooge members who are in such a hurry  they almost collect a few pedestrians on their windshields as they zoom over the crosswalk. We can all be accused of the hustle and bustle during the holidays.  Every once and awhile it is helpful to put down that steamy cup of hot chocolate and step away from the decadent tree to ponder what real Christmas cheer is.

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. Children’s faces are glowing and everyone is filled with cheer. Or are they?  Is it possible that people get so enthralled with the glitz and glam of the holiday season we forget what this time of year is really about? Instead of scrolling through our lists of wants for things that at the end of the day are most likely going to be forgotten and thrown some where in your already cluttered room why not think of the needs of those less fortunate then ourselves.

Have you ever thought that the real way to spread Christmas cheer isn’t by putting antlers on your car or caroling loud for all to hear but by going out and helping those who are very near?

So here are some ways to shift our focus to the real reason for the season:

  • Help at a local soup kitchen or food pantry.
  • Donate to your local Children’s Miracle Hospital; there is never a time of year that is not fitting to help out these beautiful children. Here is a link that you can donate directly to the cause, no amount is too small and if a monetary donation is not doable for you then find a way that you can go and put a smile on a child’s face this holiday season. http://www.helpmakemiracles.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=224975
  • While you’re out shopping for your loved ones, pick up a few items for the Toys for Tots drive.
  • Visit a nursing home.   Especially during this time of year so many senior citizens go without any visitors.  Play a little bingo and talk with these elderly people who have some amazing stories to share.  Being around them lets me know how truly sacred each moment of our lives is.  My dad sends out a weekly newsletter that I honestly rarely look at, but recently one of them caught my eye. It was titled “The Days are Long but Years are Short” and for these seasoned veterans of life this statement holds more truth than it does for most of us. It is something we can think about when we are wasting away precious moments. Not only will this brighten their days but it will also brighten up yours.

During this wonderful season, cherish every laugh, every hug, and every smile you put on some else’s face and don’t forget the ones that grace your own either.  None of us are quite sure how much longer we have. Merry Christmas y’all and may your days become memories filled with joy.

Merry Christmas from my littlest sister Lexi and I.

Merry Christmas from my littlest sister Lexi and I.

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