This past weekend, my wife and I had the joy of being with three different couples at different times. All close in our lives, where none of the couples knew each other. They all came from different walks of life. Different experiences. Different joys and sorrows.
What I found interesting is that our conversations with each were different. While they all shared the intimacy of our friendship, the content of what we shared led us down different paths to explore.
Working in the yard today gave me time to reflect on this awareness. What occurred to me that this happens more than we think. What changed the conversation was who we were with. My wife and I were the constant in all three of the interactions. Yet they were all different.
Filled with the sharing of thoughts, memories, doubts, questions, information, beliefs and opinions were common with every couple. Why isn’t that the content of all of our interactions with others? Don’t we always learn something in conversation with others?
If our conversations with others are different over the many weeks and years of our life, depending on who we are with, then over time don’t we become a reflection of these multiple interactions? Isn’t our thinking influenced by who we are with? Conversations with others always have a tendency to affirm what we think we already know. Discounting what is different than what we believe.
The further we travel, with respect to the number of people we meet and converse with, the broader our perspective. Especially when our conversations are different with each because of the difference in the people we meet and create relationships with.
When our circle of relationships is smaller, we suffer from a narrowing of perspective. There tends to be a convergence of our thoughts and beliefs with those who look and think more like us. When this happens it becomes harder to see what we don’t know. For we become blinded by others affirming what we do know.
We are a reflection of our travels. Especially with the types of people we create relationships throughout our life. The many different conversations we have. One way to change our lives is to meet new people. Create new relationships. And expose yourself to different conversations.
Change doesn’t always begin with changing our thoughts first but rather in meeting others who think differently than we do. Exposing us to different thinking and possibilities and then either evaluating what new things we have heard and whether we they make sense for our lives.
Then choosing wisely, to incorporate new perspectives and thinking into our lives to move forward towards growth and possibility beginning with the many new conversations we now have with others.