We mingle with many people during any given day, yet we talk to very few. If there is conversation, it is usually brief and sometimes the feeling of being busy outweighs the notion to talk. The urge to be rude and disrespectful while ignoring others seems commonplace. Why engage in conversation when a perceived sense of importance gives one a false impression of superiority over others? We may make eye contact without saying a word, or sit next to someone on the transit system without uttering a single sentence. We my pass someone on the sidewalk and ignore them, or see people anyplace our endeavors take us and never say anything. We often believe there is no time to stop and chat because of our busy lifestyle. The fact is, there are so many people we come in contact with that it is impossible to converse with everyone, but it is possible to engage in meaningful conversation with some people during the course of our day.
Everyone seems to be in a hurry, in reality we all meet at the end of the line with unfinished business regardless of how brisk we live life. No matter how busy we are or how fast we climb the ladder of success, there is always more to do. Slow down, enjoy life, make an effort to know people, make new friends, share adventures, make time to enjoy the fruits of your labor, and take time to reassess your purpose and direction in life. All of these things require conversation with others in order to realize the value of life. Many people are only concerned about their own life, they follow a rigid routine of going to work and earning a salary, they want to be independent, they push aside the idea of depending on anyone else. They claim to be so busy that talking with others is a waste of time. It’s easy to become slaves to money, traveling to and fro and never taking any time off work to recharge or reconnect with family and friends. People become more of an obstacle than a benefit. Machines and technology have taken over many of the tasks humans performed. These advances contribute to less and less interaction between people. Is it possible in the not to distant future people will converse only through technology instead of engaging in meaningful verbal conversation? With all the technological advances and our fast paced lifestyle, a skewed assumption that people are not needed for our own well being is a serious misconception. We say we are busy, which makes us feel important. We feed our ego with a daily dose of how busy we are which re-enforces that I is greater than we. Somehow, we have come to believe conversation is not needed with others to move forward in life and to be happy. It’s easy to become programmed to believe we are so preoccupied with our own life that nobody deserves our time and nobody could possibly enlighten us through conversation. That could not be further from the truth.
We are all convinced we are so busy that if we ask “How are You?” and a conversation ensues, we feel like we are losing precious time that could be spent advancing ourself up the food chain or tending to our own selfish desires. We are often so self centered that even saying “hello” could open up an opportunity to be drawn into a lengthy conversation we are not interested in. We are convinced that our lives are so busy that it feels like an intrusion when someone speaks to us or engages us in conversation. Our mind drifts, not interested in conversation, we think about what we could be doing instead of what we should be doing.
Each day we drag ourself out of bed and head off to work alone, after work we may go out for a solitary drink, we may go home and do nothing, or we may go home to a safe space where we escape the chaos of children and clutter. Some people may not work, they start each day off procrastinating about getting out of bed,they follow the same old routine that avoids people every day. If we choose to go to bed late or make bad eating and health choices we will go through the next day in a daze. The point is we do all these things unmotivated to engage with people or put forth our best effort at anything that deserves our attention. We have become like a gear in a machine, where the machine engages the gear but the gear does not engage with the machine.
We know that an inflated sense of self is not pleasant to others. There is no harm in taking a few minutes to converse with people we come in contact with. Life could become increasingly meaningful if we took a few minutes to show genuine interest in people through conversation. Our inflated sense of self is the downfall to meaningful conversation. Shouldn’t we be interested in what others have to say while listening intently without interrupting and injecting our own egotistical opinions? Yet we have no patience to initiate a conversation that requires listening skills and the ability to interact on a meaningful level.
Since part of our life is based on our ability to communicate, shouldn’t we make an effort to connect with others through conversation? The quickening pace of our life and the quickening events of the world are a call for us to slow down and spend time in conversation with others. We should not get caught up in the whirlwind that our world graciously throws upon us. Our life is swift, hardly a moment in time compared to the age of the universe. If we do not take just a sliver of infinite time to invest in conversation with others, we will have missed so many opportunities to make friends, so many opportunities to help someone, so many opportunities to listen to someone who needs a friend, and so many opportunities that can bring us all together as a human race. Without conversation, think how many chances one may have missed to successfully grow and mature as a person. We only have so many opportunities to engage in conversation with people. Can we make an ernest attempt to realize life is not about how fast we live nor is it about elevating one to heights of grandeur while ignoring others, it is about how well we graciously and effectively communicate and relate to others while juggling our busy schedule to fulfill our needs.