People ask me how I am doing, and I not infrequently respond “doing good.”
And yes, I mean “doing well,” as in, “I am feeling healthy today,” but the truth is that I rarely am.
Usually I’m a little exhausted, haven’t slept as much as I would have liked, am feeling stressed by work, and am hoping I’m not coming down with a cold. So when I say that I am feeling healthy, it’s really the polite lie we Americans say when we pretend to be well because we all know that no one’s asked us for the truth.
Yet, I’d like to think that my colloquialism, if taken literally, is closer to the truth than otherwise.
Because as much as some correct “doing good” under the assumption that they know what you really mean, there’s nothing grammatically incorrect about the statement. “Doing well” is a statement about health, while “doing good” is a statement about action. And while we may be tempted to respond that “Superman does good,” don’t we all? Or at least, shouldn’t we all?
Because at the end of the day, I want to be heroic. I’d like to think that I have affected a positive change in the world, that I have made the lives of those around me substantively better through my actions. I may not always succeed, but that’s what I’m working toward. And while I may not be Wonder Woman, it does make me feel pretty damn majestic.
And isn’t that more important than how well or ill I happen to be feeling at any moment in time? Isn’t it more interesting to hear that someone is working toward every day heroism than that they don’t have the sniffles yet? Shouldn’t we all be doing good?
So, how about you? How are you doing?