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April 30, 2004

How are you doing?

The "How are you doing?" greeting that is very frequently used in the US, is philosophically quite different from the "How are you?" I was used to hearing in India (which may have British roots).

With "How are you", you are asking about the state of the persons being. You are asking whether he is happy, whether he is sad. It lays importance on the state of the mind or the state of being as an important attribute that people like to know about others.

On the other hand, "How are you doing?" asks you how are you doing, not how you yourself are. It implies that every person must be doing something, probably for his livelihood, or for fun. The importance is on action. It assumes that every person is in a state of constant action. His state of being is not very important, but whether he is having fun whatever he is doing. The activity he is doing is not considered separately from his emotional state. But that he derives his emotional state from the activity he is doing. Or that he has to pursue some activity to reach a better emotional state.

This implies that people generally dont care about whether the other person is happy or not. They are busy having their own fun doing their own little activities.

This is my life man. Your life is yours.

Have fun!
I dont care whether you actually are happy, just have fun doing whatever it is that you are doing. :-)


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