The next step in getting to know anyone is to ask: “How are you?” and mean it. Not the “how are you?” you ask in passing as the person says “fine” or “okay” or simply nods as you both go your separate ways. But the “How are you?” where you look a person in the eyes and wait for a response. And if “fine” or “okay” is given, you may say “Really, are you really okay?”
Seven years after 9/11 had passed, I was sitting at a play place watching my child play with the other children there. I sat down next to a Muslim lady who was watching her child play. I smiled and said “hello.” I then asked how she was doing. After commenting on the beautiful outfit she was wearing, I began to talk with her about my child and ask her about hers. Soon we were discussing various ethnic foods and the conversation took off.
At the end of our visit, she remarked that she had been living here in my homeland for 7 years, and I was the first non-Muslim to really talk with her.
Take time to contemplate this quote by pastor John C. Maxwell–
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”