“Hi, how are you?”
It’s something we’ve all said countless times.
But what about in recovery? When things are beyond tough or challenging or just utterly unknown? When any random moment can be that thin line between life and death?
Well, that’s when those four words can literally save lives.
We learn to greet each other at such young ages that it’s almost like breathing. It is what it is. We don’t think about it. We just do it. Everyone does.
And we grow up saying it all the time. Every day. Our entire lives. It becomes a routine, passive pattern.
But in recovery—when we attempt to redefine our lives by finding new ways to live life itself—greeting a person can become one of those simple miracles.
We hear it in meetings all the time—to focus less on ourselves, to be of service, to stay active and listen. Why is that?
It’s because if we think too much about ourselves, that’s where it gets tough… And risky. And that’s perfectly acceptable. After all, we’ve been through a lot… And pain is patient as hell. So in those moments forget that abstract idea of selflessness. It’s way too much. Way too soon.
Instead, just think about your self… Way, way less.
But how do you do that, right? Here’s how. Every single chance you get, ask a person, “Hi, how are you?”
And then just listen. But really listen. Not only will you learn about what they’re going through, instantly putting your trials and tribulations in perspective, but you’ll be helping another human being, you’ll be of service, and most of all, you’ll be focused on your self… Way, way less.
For my first year, I was a greeter at a big meeting. I had to be there an hour early and leave almost last. And I literally greeted every single person as they walked in… “Hi, how are you?”
And that was that. But when I think about it today, there’s a direct line between those four simple words and why I’m still alive.
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