Can you imagine visiting with friends and all the conversations began with, Here: Read this?
I am guilty of this sometimes on social media.
When someone expresses so perfectly what I think, if I had even thought about a subject, I want you to know: this is what I think about that!
But how would that work in real time conversations?
That peoples can no longer carry on authentic dialogue with one another is not only the most acute symptom of the pathology of our time, it is also that which most urgently makes a demand of us. ~ Martin Buber (1878—1965)*
The more things change, the more they stay the same, huh? (Cultivating Civility )
Read this, read that . . . that doesn’t exactly foster a dialogue, or camaraderie, or even understanding.
“You can’t heal a sick culture with personal bandages.” Adam Grant,There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling
You may wind up arguing with me about what someone else said— and I must defend what I did not say. And friendships may fray.
We may stop talking. 🙁 Talking, having a conversation, is a blessed by-product of the gift of language and can connect people.
A year plus of social distancing has made having a conversation seem of inestimable value. I know this because we finally got to break bread with our kids and grandkids!
It’s not a new thought:
You hunt in the morning (says he), and crowd to the public rooms at night, and call it diversion; when your heart knows it is perishing with poverty of pleasures, and your wits get blunted for want of some other mind to sharpen them upon. There is in this world no real delight . . . but exchange of ideas in conversation . . . . **
In an autumn’s garden, conversations, exchanges of ideas, are rarer treasures because minds and bodies fail. Some of the best conversationalists have left the building.
So, I am grateful today I can talk and Doug is willing to listen.
But maybe I should be more grateful I can listen; even hearing from more than one friend: Christians are such haters.***
Listening to another person remains the greatest compliment I can offer another soul; being granted time and space to speak has been one of the greatest gifts I have received.
Maybe that’s why listening to great books from the library continues to teach me how big the world is, and how much I simply do not know about stuff I thought I knew.
“All the things that are wrong in the world seem conquered by a library’s simple unspoken promise: Here I am, please tell me your story; here is my story, please listen.” ― Susan Orlean, The Library Book
This blog lets me tell parts of my story. Thank you dear reader for reading . . . your comments mean so much.
Finally, Here, read this! 😉 SMOKE ALARM
* Here’s the source for Martin Buber’s quote: Monologue versus Dialogue
*** A pointed YouTube suggests why some believe Christians are such haters: How do talk we about stuff?