Throughout the last couple of months, my wife and I have enjoyed visiting with friends after many months of shelter at home due to Covid. In small groups of course. We are blessed to have many people in our lives. Valuing their presence by re-connecting with them as time permits is important to us.
On reflection, each of our many conversations have all been different. There is very little overlap in content. Each is unique to the individuals we are with at the time. Filled with an intimacy that only good friends enjoy.
Contrast this with another conversation I witnessed, involving others at a party. They were sitting around a kitchen table discussing a topic that I heard twenty years ago when a past generation talked about the same issues at this same kitchen table. While the individuals today were of a different generation, not much had changed in terms of content.
Making the mistake through most of my life of living in a world that was much too small, all of what I have seen and experienced over the last few months leads me to a possible way to determine how small one’s world really is. It’s simply, how different are your conversations across your weeks? For over many year’s, my conversations were simply repeats of the week before.
I would argue that the kitchen table conversation that did not change across generations, has trapped those sitting there in a world that is very small. What is interesting about this awareness, is how hard it is for us to see this for ourselves when we are sitting at this same table. For many year’s, my world was much smaller than I knew.
When we are part of conversations that have different content, we begin to affirm that we live in a larger world. Filled with diverse interests, interesting perspectives never considered, and new knowledge. Exposing us to things we never thought to look for or see. Validating the uniqueness each of us possess. Filled with the same beauty and energy with which we begin each of our days.
Developing a patience for others while respecting who they truly are. Understanding what they value by being present in our conversations with them. Never focusing on who we are but allowing others the opportunity to share who they are with us. Celebrate their passions. Exploring their interests so that we can learn more about the world around us through their eyes and hearts.
Magic happens when different conversations occur. Waking up to a world of greater possibility, new insights and paths to explore. Needing only different content to be introduced into your life on a regular basis. One conversation at a time over a lifetime.