The Art of Conversation

When was the last time you actually sat down in a chair, opposite somebody, looking eye to eye…and shared words, thoughts, and feelings for at least half an hour? Because of our busy lives, so few of us these days can find the time to communicate in what is becoming the lost art of communication, or, for a better word, “talking.”

Every one of us evolve as people….growing, changing, trying different things different ways. Have you ever looked back on a photograph of yourself taken ten years ago and asked yourself, “Was that really me? Did I really look like that?” Well, all of us at one point or another pull out the old high school yearbooks to look and reminisce. Change is a part of us….every one of us. In a world full of assumptions, it’s very easy to assume that people around us stay the same and we don’t really need to update our points of view about them, and they about us. Then one day we sit down with a friend or family member over dinner or lunch and as the words flow our jaws drop in shock that across from us is somebody that we thought we totally knew. What we learn is that unless we keep up our conversations with people, we miss the changes they go through.

We grow as individuals, in many cases, from the information we take in. Isn’t it ironic that sometimes the lives of the people closest to us, we look upon as mundane…but in reality they have a profound influence in shaping us as people. Some of the best conversations I’ve ever had were with my Grandmother who has since deceased…but there isn’t a week that passes by that some of her words don’t effect me or cross my mind. As I look back I can honestly say she was one of the wisest people I have ever met. I cherish the moments with her, which at the time I didn’t realize how important they would later become. So if you’re listening, Grandma, thank you.

This weekend pull up a chair, break some bread, look across the table, give a smile….and say, “What’s up?” to someone you care about. The answers are always surprising, but enlightening.

Take the time to talk,

Jennifer Avalon
© 1999 Jennifer Avalon

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