22 Feb The Joy of Conversation
I so enjoyed an afternoon of conversation recently. Four of us sat together at a small table at a community event and just talked and talked, for the pure pleasure of it. It didn’t matter that I was the relative newbie (the three of them already knew each other). By the end of the afternoon we had gotten to know each other better, and a warm sense of belonging filled my soul.
Sherry Turkle, M.I.T Psychologist and author of “Alone Together”, points out that
“Not too long ago, people walked with their heads up, looking at the water, the sky, the sand and at one another, talking. Now they often walk with their heads down, typing. Even when they are with friends, partners, children, everyone is on their own devices.”
I have observed the same thing, but the beauty of true community is that it opens up times and opportunities to chat face to face. True, a lot of these conversations are the 2- or 3-minute variety, such as running into someone at the store or crossing paths when out and about.
I’m talking about opportunities for extended conversations. I remember another time, for example, completely unplanned, when an acquaintance had to wait 45 minutes for his friend. I invited him in for a cup of tea with my husband and me, and the three of us had a lovely conversation. Daily meal time, dinner parties, and social activities are also good places to have real-time, face-to-face conversations.
Messy is okay
As Megan Garber points out in an article entitled, “Saving the Lost Art of Conversation”
“Conversations, as they tend to play out in person, are messy—full of pauses and interruptions and topic changes and assorted awkwardness. But the messiness is what allows for true exchange. It gives participants the time—and, just as important, the permission—to think and react and glean insights.”
We humans are social creatures, and conversation enables us to take pleasure in, and appreciate, each other’s company.
Resources to help you
Sherry Turkle, “The Flight From Conversation”
Megan Garber, “Saving the Lost Art of Conversation”