Simply I’m Good

Posted by Rochelle Armstrong | March 7, 2021 | Leading Authentically

Have you ever reached out to check on someone who is sick, going through a breakup, experiencing the loss of a loved one, terminated from their job, or you sincerely want to know how they’re doing, and they respond, “I’m good?” Does this rest well with you? If you’re busy and were reaching out to check off the “I’m a good person” to-do-list, maybe “I’m good” is cool with you, but if you genuinely care, these two words will slightly bother you.

Texting and social media have made it easy to communicate with people. However, I still prefer hearing the voice on the other end of the receiver because even if they don’t use their words to tell you how they’re “really” doing, you can tell by their tone, especially when you know someone well. Wonder why we text instead of calling or settle for “I’m good” so quickly?

Would we not all agree that 2020 was one hell of a year! There’s no pretty way to describe the COVID-19 blues—the myriad of sickness, loss of lives, loss of jobs, long workdays for “essential” workers, depression, loneliness, and cabin fever. And if that wasn’t life-altering enough, add social unrest and the United States of America’s division. You say, “I’m good” (pregnant pause), okay.

As many of us were elated to leave 2020 behind and embark on new beginnings in 2021, it didn’t stop bad news from finding its way to you. People are still getting sick. People are continuing to die. People are still fighting for social justice and equality. And people are still lonely, depressed, and unemployed. I don’t care how many self-care days you take, turn off your phone or take a vacation to escape. The reality remains that a lot of people are simply “not good.”

Hey. I can’t blame you if you’re content with someone saying, I’m good. I can only imagine the energy and strength it takes you to pick up your phone to check-in on someone and the energy and strength it probably takes the person to respond with those two seemingly meaningless yet heartfelt words: I’m good.

Recently, my oldest daughter Jessie, grandson Landyn and I were recipients of selfless, nurturing, and loving doctors and nurses in the NICU at Baptist Health Louisville hospital. I tear up as I think about how they were able to effectively perform their highly stressful, complicated jobs yet managed to smile and ask, “how are you doing?” And to not further burden them, our response was simply, “I’m good.”

Not all of us have the heart, skills, compassion, or patience to be what most people call essential workers, who I like to refer to as superheroes or angels in disguise. But we all are equipped with unique gifts and talents that can help brighten someone’s day. So, the next time you’re genuinely concerned about how someone is doing, and they respond, “I’m good,” I encourage you, as I challenge myself, to exert a little more energy and say, are you really good?