I think we spend a lot of time in our lives in conversation that breezes over what we really want to talk about, or helps us avoid saying what we really want to say. I'll often ask people how they're doing, and I get the typical response you do. "Good." Or "Good, how are you?" are people's go-to responses. But personally I don't stay on that even keel as often as I like, so I assume others are the same way. If someone replies "good" I will sometimes ask if they're really good, or if they're just saying that so they don't have to continue the conversation.
A nervous laugh is usually followed by a more in depth response, and perhaps even a conversation about what is really weighing on that persons mind. When I started responding to people this way I was not intentionally trying to pry or make people feel awkward, I was doing it more as a quip than anything else. I quickly realized that most people had more behind the surface. People have things they want to talk about, and we often skip this opportunity because of our pre-programmed responses.
We have all given the short response of "good" when asked how we are or how we're doing. But when is the last time you thought about what it means to be good, to do good, or produce goodness.
Goodness is intrinsic, like a personal quality. It's not a result of outwardly following laws or maintaining righteous status according to someone else's standard. Chances are, that at the end of your life you would rather to be known as a person who did good than a person who simply avoided doing bad. And when we hear stories that inspire us about acts of kindness or we see people doing good for others, what is being done is often from a place of kindness rather than requirements for righteousness. Goodness flows into and through your spirit, it's not a reward for following the law.
Knowing this frees me to actively pursue The Source of goodness, and not the approval of other people. When I do something good, and when I make a mess of things, it is always possible to retrace my steps back to the place where goodness comes from. Goodness has no statute of limitations on when it can heal, or whom it can reach.
This truth is for everyone. It's for those who think they have lost their value. For those trying to make a relationship last or become stronger, if you've lost your joy, goodness can flow to you again. If you have a burden for restoring a relationship with someone you love, goodness can flow through you.
Tap into goodness and out will flow kindness, love, forgiveness, generosity, patience, gratitude, and all the other fruit that grows from well-cultivated relationships.