This morning I met three friends for breakfast to catch up. We got up to date with what we are up to in our lives, shared recent successes, issues we are facing, insights about life, ideas, plans, hopes, etc. You know, the things friends talk about all the time.
What made this conversation different from the many I have had is the intentionality we brought to the table, our common focus on generating possibilities and the way we listened to each other.
We listened with the intention to support each other in what we are up to in life; we listened to contribute and empower each other as individuals and us as a community. It was a series of creation conversations that has an immediate impact and relevance to how we live our lives right now and how our future is shaped.
It was not mindless chit chat or gossip about people, things or situations. Such conversations, I now find, inevitably leave me in a void filled with a sense of false optimism, self righteousness and at times, lesser clarity than before. At the end of all that talk, I am acutely aware that I have not made any difference to anyone at all. I was merely a dumping ground, a clearing that allowed everything and stood for nothing. In the process, I might have pacified a bruised ego, provided a listening ear to someone who needed to be heard, offered some measure of comfort by saying what the person wanted to hear or was seeking to hear, or just by saying nothing at all.
No matter how good these conversations made me feel and how great they might sound, they made absolutely no difference to anybody; it doesn’t change what has already happened, it doesn’t move anything forward. It was talk for the sake of filling up time, looking good and out of the sheer vanity of having an opinion of just about anything.
The kind of conversation we had this morning was NOT just lending a listening ear to a friend about troubles at home, at work, etc. It was NOT a complain session about how life, and everything else in it that didn’t work, is a bitch. It is NOT a self-congratulatory account of our recent successes in the different aspects of our life.
It was the kind of conversation that left everyone involved empowered and inspired about life, even as we parted ways to continue to deal with what we have to deal with in our lives. It was the kind of speech that acknowledged that life is what it is and what it isn’t and still, we are able to remain powerful inside of the many issues we have to face daily.
What kind of conversations did you have recently? The kind that makes an impact or the kind that might as well have not taken place?