Sunday, December 12, 2010

Asking the questions, no one will answer

As part of my conversation study, I continue to explore how and why this species communicates to each other.

I’ll preface this with the understanding I consider these thoughts during my conversations with myself. Verbal statements made to those who do not understand my words or hear me at all.

Since it is the season when acceptable groups are invited to gather and converse, the proper etiquette of conversation arises.

“What will be the topic?”

As each year presents it’s own events, personalities, and fodder; each person will bring a different point view to any topic.

Will they bring an opinion, a statement, a similar experience, or adjust the focus to another topic?

And how well do you know these people? They may be co-workers, club members, team players, committee members, or family. The topics can be as slight as the weather or as deep as politics. Depending on the depth of understanding and commonality of a group, the conversation can venture into a space unaware on a daily basis.

But seldom will any of this trite talk go to the point that hits the core. The secret whispers behind closed doors, those life-changing thoughts expressed in eye to eye contact with only a few words mumbled yet understood.

E-mails cannot relay such thoughts, yet once face-to-face, there is no excuse why we only babble. If every breath is important, why isn’t every thought sent through the air to another?

Now, to get off the heavy for a moment and as an aside, my introduction to conversation was as a joker. Say something silly and get a response. Harmless antics without a threat were my signature to strangers. No in-depth subjects, no fact-finding missions, and no intimate thoughts were in my vocabulary. I didn’t bring a vast array of information to the table, only limited observations from daily experiences.

And most conventional conversation holds no threats. If topics of politics or religion arise, people tend to regroup to reinforce their own beliefs. This alienation in polite society is unacceptable, but the pattern for confrontation expands the vision process to new boundaries.

While some of these topics may appear offensive, they can uncover some of the deepest structure of the individual. What we believe and live, every day; not just what our grouping of words say, is what makes us unique.

We all have something to say, as painfully shown by the Internet and in blogs like this mess, but many of our statements are based on personal interpretations of ideas presented by others. Frequently we blurt out a message hoping to get a comment without analyzing our thoughts. We regurgitate the words, rearranging them into a different pattern, but rarely putting any thought into the string spewed out to the world.

A song or an overheard phrase may catch our ear and connect in some deep meaning that moves us. These were not random sentences, but overworked lines intended to impassioned others.

Perhaps age will relieve us from the politically correct structure of conversation and allow us to talk only when it is necessary. Listening, understanding, and comprehending may be our last reward.

Even between our closest confidants, the talk will gloss over what drew us together.

We spoke of truth, vision, love, faith; the topics that form the core of our being without stipulation, and listened to the reactions of those we trusted. Was this trust and acceptance deteriorated by time and distance?

When did we lose those connections?

So now standing face-to-face with another resident of this third planet from the sun, will we ask the questions no one will answer?

1 comment:

Art said...

Confused. I never did lose the connection. Don't do it at work - work is work, and I rarely lose my work focus. I go to FEW (if any) social gatherings (that might be called cocktail party-ish). But when with few good friends, and Melissa is certainly one, I have no fewr of substantive conversations. 'Course, I might be mnisunderstanding what you mean...