In Aboriginal culture, when you ask someone, "How are you?" it is understood that you are enquiring not just about the person in front of you, but also about their ancestors and family too. They take the question seriously because wellbeing does not relate solely to an individual, it relates to all the people connected to them in their family and in their community, to their environment and to their past. They know that we are all connected and we all have a shared history. Today, when you ask someone "How are you?" ask it with the same sincerity as the Aborigines, Ask in a way that tunes in to the other person's true state of mind. If they reply with a half-hearted "I'm fine" more often than not they are not fine, and would love for someone to chat with them for a while. If someone is unhappy, it reflects on those around them. Something is out of balance. In speaking to an unhappy person, you have a chance to influence their mood and make them feel connected again.
Give the gift of mindfully listening to one person, and they are more likely to pass it on to another.