Sunday, May 15, 2011

A personal question

"How are you?"

Grandpa and his girls

Three simple words; a question: "How are you?"
A question to which I reply "I'm OK, how are you?" - or something else.

A caring tone; a sympathetic look; honest, open concern from one who knows the deep waters I must traverse.

It's a question that needs a voice - not txt or email or a Fb poke! A question for which communication technology can never surpass the value of the human voice.

"How are you?" is a question that invites a response.

"Thanks for asking."

Dear Reader
Today I am writing about life, and not specifically midwifery. My thoughts have been prompted by a deeply personal experience which has brought me to a new appreciation of the value of that personal question, "How are you?"

As I reflect on my own experience I feel ashamed at my own failure to be with others in their distress. As I receive messages through the various (impersonal/technological) means of communication, my heart longs for the personal word.

I don't think this need to use personal communication will ever be lost, even as generations of young people who have been nurtured at the bountiful breast of information technology move into adult life.  Their basic need for human interaction will be most keenly felt when they face life's challenges and difficulties; when they need a caring voice to ask, "How are you?"


Cath said...

I am well, thank you for asking. I too feel the need to have a face to face communication with others and after a long day at the computer human company is so sweet.

I also believe the technology has aforded me an oportunity to connect with so many others that I would otherwise probably never have met. Some have turned out to be in the same state and we have met in person which brings us full circle and back to your point. The drive to be connected to the closest point seems to drive most of us. Meeting a like minded friend on a blog allows us to gain an additional friend. To be able to meet that friend in person for me is icing on the cake.
My family calls me the "techno junkie" but I will always want and need that human connection.
So how are you?

patricia harman cnm said...

Hi Joy, I'm cleaning up my emails and saw your blog-review about Arms Wide Open: A Midwife's Journey. That was so nice of you and I love it when midwives respond to the book. Thanks for your blog too. It's beautiful. If you ever want to do a guest interview with me about writing, life, midwifery in the states or whatever, I'd be up for it. All you have to do is think of the questions and I'll email you my answers. Peace, Patsy Harman, midwife and author