Tuesday, March 26, 2019

"How are you?" - Do people really care?

I read an article on CNBC.com and it was on seven tactics successful people use when having a meaningful conversation.  Sure it talks about the work and workplace related scenarios, but it can be applied to everyday life.  The one thing that stood out is that "how are you" is meaningless and people more often than not don't care.  Do you see this as being true?  Or do you genuinely care?

If you really don't care, why are you asking?  Is it because we have been told or even programmed to ask this?  I can't bring myself to ask this.  It could be because you get the run of the mill responses such as good, okay, not bad, etc..  It is true, the article says when you get these typical responses, they are not truthful responses.  People don't ask open ended questions to generate a response that will lead to small talk or a conversation.

In a sermon years ago, they said we don't bother to engage and really take an interest in someone.  When asked "how are you," we, as I said, give the typical responses and nothing more.  If you really want to talk to talk and engage with someone, stop asking how are you.  If you want an honest answer, we do need to move away from "how are you."

How many times have you been genuinely wanting to know how someone is and you don't get anything more than "good" or "fine?"  Sometimes when I see certain people, they ask about my health or various things.  They could genuinely care or they could just be making small talk.  It is okay to do both.  But small talk about myself, health, my life, etc. is hard to do for me.  I can talk about other things, but that kind of talk can be hard.

My buddy Mark says he asks "how was your day?"  That is a good way to try and get more than the usual "good," "fine," or "okay" type responses.  I hardly hear nor am I asked that.  It is always "how are you."  I always fall back on the typical responses.

If I didn't fall back on the typical responses, I would actually give people an in-depth answer.  At work I see people asking "how are you."  They are just passing by and acknowledge people they know.  But there are lots of times I see people asking "how are you" and it turns into a longer conversation.

When asked "how are you," we are not usually honest regardless if the person cares or not.  I read somewhere that we don't want to be honest because we don't feel comfortable telling them.  I feel that way.  Should I be more open and honest in that regard when talking one-on-one with someone or making small talk?  I am fine doing that with friends and people I am close with, but with others, I am not the most comfortable doing that with them.

Should we ditch "how are you?"  Or do we need to genuinely care?  I get it, we don't always want to listen to people go on about every little thing.  But it can be hard to discern whether they want to know or just asking it as it is commonplace to do so.  If you don't care, don't ask it.  Seems pretty simple.  I have a hard time asking "how are you."  I don't want to say it because I have to.  I want to say it because I want to.  We don't have to say it because society dictates we should.

"How are you" will always be used whether people care or not.  I doubt something else to replace it will be thought of.

Monday, January 07, 2019

Dairy Farming: Like a Cow is Drying Up?

I read an article by a dairy farmer on the Washington Post website about the plight and struggles of small family dairy farms.  The struggles of small farms that force them to shut down.  There are number of reasons they are shutting down including not being able to afford to continue operating.

I give much credit and respect to those small family farms that are making a go wherever in Canada or the United States they are.  Without diary farming, including the small farms, there wouldn't be the milk to produce various other items.  Same goes for the small family grain farms.

The United States needs to do something to help the little guy.  They need do something to make people want to get into farming.  For a meager average Joe wanting to choose farming as a career choice, it is not cheap to start and keep going.  If small farms keep shutting in these numbers, all we'll be left with is the mega dairy farms. They need to treat it more than corporation. I do give credit to those that don't.  I give them credit for operating with the ideology and philosophy as the small ones.  That is if they do operate that way.

Donald Trump, by the sounds of it, hasn't done much to support and help the farmers.  That needs to change.  You can't just focus on other areas.  There is a real need to help the farmers.  A need to help, what some would call, the backbone and heart of America.

Farming is one of the oldest professions.  It goes back 12,000 to 13,000 years and originated in Ancient Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Israel, Palestine, southeastern Turkey, and western Iran).  Is the need for dairy farming becoming less and less as we are becoming more dependent on the large scale dairy farming operations?  Throughout history, we've depended on farmers for providing certain items like milk and crops to produce other items.  We can't lose the small family run dairy farms because we can't rely solely on the big dairy farms.

Where I grew up, south of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan; there were a number of dairy farms.  Now I don't even know if there are any still operating.  My dad and Grandpa got out of dairy farming in the 90s when my dad went to work for the government.  Slowly but surely, the small farms are shutting down.

My dad loved going to see a big dairy farm in Arizona on one of his yearly trips there.  He, after all, was a dairy farmer.  So of course, it was only natural he loved it.

I may not have been too interested in becoming a farmer as I grew up (although at one time I wanted to be a farmer when I was very young).  But this article does hit close to home.  The small farms shutting down for whatever reason is all too real.  It is a sad reality as we need more than just the big dairy farms.  I don't know what can be done, but something has to done.  Something has got to give.  I do give those credit for making a go of it no matter how hard it is.