JASON REYNOLDS

writin' and whatnot

How one word can change everything

Yesterday, I was sitting in an office at Long Island University, waiting for my buddy, Myisha's class to begin. A man walks in, and gives the typical default salutation, "How are you?" to another guy. Now, normally, when someone asks that (which happens 100 times a day) the answer is usually, "I'm good, thank you." It's like a muscle memory thing. A reflex, at this point. But that's not what this guy said. Instead he said, "I'm good, thank God," and kept it moving. It was almost like nobody caught it. Like most of our minds still computed it as "I'm good, thank you." But not mine. I heard it.

It's absolutely incredible how the simple substitution of one word, can change the entire tone of a statement. And for me, one of the few that actually heard it, it changed the entire tone of the day.