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course, the flip side to answering the question honestly is being asked an honest question. So many times we ask the question out of common courtesy and knowing that we will likely get a stock response. Not because we really and truly care.

Compassion means not only the courage to care but also the the courage to take action. It takes courage to ask the question honestly and be at the ready for an honest response. Because it means the next move, if the opportunity exists, is doing something to effect change.

All of this is to say that I completely understand why it is hard to both ask the question and give the answer honestly. Yet, I also think we rob ourselves and others of something even more difficult but important — the truth.

Therefore here is your next challenge: When you do ask someone how they are, ask honestly and compassionately and be ready to offer help.