I find myself using the word “wish” when I’ve decided I don’t like something the way it is, yet I’m not actually doing anything about it. There’s no real reason to declare my wishes. Whenever I start a sentence with “I just wish…” feel free to ignore me, I’m only wasting your time. My whiny face has probably made you tune out anyway.
~ David Cain
Then I have to ask, what does it mean when we say, “I wish you well?”
It means exactly nothing.
If someone is sick, don’t send prayers or well wishes. Instead, tell them you will miss them when they are gone—oviously only in cases where Death is the elephant-in-the-room. In more mundane situations, why not tell someone how much you enjoyed this opportunity to spend time with them. …or how much you appreciate their simply calling to say hello. Don’t “wish” them well. Don’t “try” to keep in touch. (Those are just a few examples that spring immediately to mind.)
Avoiding “wishing” is not easy. I’ve been actively and intentionally working on it for many years. So far, I’ve managed only to become aware of it each time I “wish” or “try.”