Wednesday, April 27, 2005


With all the business of our lives we often take for granted the numerous conversations that transpire throughout the day. Perhaps if I were not alone they would not hold so much significance, but many times they do. When one has no special purpose for existing other than survival and consuming material things there is little to distract them from their thoughts. The true treasures of life however are mostly non-material.

I find that casual conversations are like pools of water in a desert. Each one provides intellectual nourishment. Some may call it small talk, but I find talk very big. Equally stimulating however are the periods of silence. It is not the moments, it is the creative ways in which we use them and whether we appreciate them. The carefully crafted response to someone’s comment or opinion can determine the course of the conversation. Whether it becomes an intense argument or a gracious commentary on the plight of humankind is truly in the way one frames their words. Knowing when to be silent and when to challenge another is an art in itself.

Welcome each day’s encounter with the critical eye of a newborn child. Before forming an opinion and blabbering forth some careless presumption, listen to the complete context of the conversation and offer some delightful tidbit of information, or perhaps a pondering question.

Understandably, not everyone can delight in conversation. Alas, I once suffered the paralyzing affects of introversion. Shy and timid I rarely could engage in social commentary. Yet, I did evolve to a more modest and reserved character that occasionally participated in self-expression.

Today, some may say I am overbearing and opinionated, or even garrulous. To those who are limited in their ability to express themselves that may appear true. Yet, I do not interrupt or dominate the conversation, nor do I act insolent or rude. As far as I can tell, I just enjoy initiating a topic and actively debating an issue. Some are conversationalist, and some are not, the later may find my behavior offensive.

There are many issues at hand to clearly start a conversation, yet there are many times I am at a loss, such as meeting new people for the first time. Whether one debates the current politics, religion, relationships, families, work or daily struggles, many conversations have started with a mere comment on the weather.

Sharing our lives somehow validates our humanity and allows us to keep our perspective. We need to tell a friend of a new movie or purchase. Sometimes we have doubts, or question our reasoning, and need a second opinion.

Often however I bring the same old conversations up when meeting strangers; what do you do? Are you married with children? Why are you here? Where are you from? It sometimes seems trite. Much like taking a familiar road to the park, we make all the same turns and stops, but once we get there, we realize there are many new things to explore.

Yes, I do enjoy my conversations. If not for any other reason than when I finally shut up, I can truly enjoy the silence once again!

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