Conversation is important. Meaningful conversation is important. And I don’t mean the way that men and women talk to each other or separately, because yes, evolution has provided more than one set of basic wiring and we don’t talk or communicate the same way, and yes, some of that can be divided at least partially along gender lines even as we recognize gender (like everything else) as being on a spectrum. And we can overcome evolution, but it’s hard.
What I mean is more in terms of when I’m having a conversation, I want to talk about things of consequence. I don’t care if it’s raining or if the grass is green or the carpet is still ugly today. Doesn’t matter. Doesn’t bring any joint my life. I seem to be adapting the phrase “life is too short” in several ways lately, but life is too short to spend time talking about inconsequential things. Nothing gets fixed and nothing gets better by my telling you it’s a nice day and you agreeing.
I want to talk about politics and religion and philosophy and major events in the world. And I want to talk about how my kids are doing in school and how yours are and how their experiences are different and how we’re helping them to adapting to a ridiculously stressful world. I want to find things out about you to figure out where you’re coming from, where you’re going, what you think, and how we can find common ground to stand on. I want to talk about things that matter, to you, to me, everyone.
There is no subject that is or should be off-limits.
Why doesn’t our society have a proper line dividing church and state?
How do we find a way to talk about the terrorist attacks in Las Vegas or London or Baghdad or Mogadishu or the Philippines that doesn’t send either side of the relevant social arguments off on a tirade?
How that last natural disaster really knocked us all on our asses and what we can do to actually prepared for the next. Or mitigate those coming in the farther future.
How we can help our American friends get rid of the orange menace who somehow got himself elected, without breaking any laws are opening ourselves up to being sued.
Is China’s human rights record really is bad as I think it is or am I remembering things from 20 years ago and just deciding that that’s the way things always are?
Talk to me, argue with me, fight with me. But do it about things that matter.
Not all communication matters, but it all has the potential to. It all could.
But it doesn’t.
A lot of noises we make day-to-day are just that, noises. Social lubricant so our brains don’t have to work too hard and get overheated, so we can avoid thinking too hard about each other because then we’ll have to try actually understanding each other. Sure, sometimes small talk can actually purpose, when you’re feeling around the edges of something important, trying to figure out where someone stands or to approach a difficult conversation situation. But most of the time, not so much.
So, let’s discuss, argue, fight. Rationally, and with consideration for each other. Remembering that while ideas don’t deserve respect, people do.
Be well, everyone.by