I mean really talking.
Not the usual, "Hi, how are you?"... "Good. You?"
Facebook doesn't count.
I mean a real conversation of mutual listening and sharing.
Real interest in what the other has to say.
Genuine vulnerability to the words of another- which might perhaps shift or change locked in perspectives.
When was the last time you talked to someone who may challenge what you know about the world?
Honestly, life is so full that most often it is easier to just put down my head- to keep walking, looking at my phone, rattling off my to-do list in my head.
My days are full- just as each of yours are. There is just so dang much to do. It is easy to wake up, get to yoga, say a few quick hellos... share niceties... come home... hurry the kids along... drive up to the school... pass by all of the other parents with a quick head nod- a small wave. Off to work or school or the grocery store... moving through the day without ever truly stopping to listen.. or to share.
Over the past week I happen to have had multiple deep conversations at random times and places... these conversations left me wondering, "What am I missing on all of these days when I rush around with out stopping to talk?"
With my massage therapist I heard stories of his past, of his struggle to find love, of his children and his dreams.
With a fellow parent at the kids school we talked about the struggle to raise kids in an environment with ethnic diversity in a culture that self segregates. We discussed school politics and the longing to provide the best opportunities for our kids while also being aware of the social and political problems in our education systems.
With a man from India, who I talked to for an hour at Starbucks, I heard about his struggle to find community in Fort Worth, his dreams to write a movie script, and his perspective on possibilities for creative freedom that he witnesses in the US.
With my sweet daughter Faith, while sitting in a public restroom, We talked through her questions after reading the book Because of Winn Dixie... She wanted to know, "what's it like to be a Mom, is it hard?" (btw-the Mom in this book leaves the family- thanks author Katie DiCamillo for planting that in my kids head)...
What would I have missed if I hurried out from my massage appointment, if I'd dropped the kids off for a play date and silently ran errands on my own, if I'd not shared my table at Starbucks, if I'd sent Faith into the bathroom without staying to talk?
Each of these encounters left me thinking. Each of these conversations shifted my perspective of the world- even if only for a few minutes.
There is some part of me - deep inside- that can't help but think that these little conversations- that sharing with our fellow travelers on this convoluted path- is a big part of what life is all about.
So may you, and may I,
put down the phone,
close the book, or the computer,
let the to-do list sit unfinished--
may we each stop to talk.