the TAO of CHANGE

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The Art Of Conversation

by Greg Gillette, Asheville, NC

Has the ability to spark a true soulful conversation been forgotten by the majority of people who are too caught up with materialism and their own inner world? As a whole, the art of conversation is lost, but for the brave and concerned few, we can revive the art of soulful conversation to the forefront to save our society.

Deep down, everyone longs to express their emotions and their dreams and everyone, deep down, is a beautiful spiritual being. But how do move away from inauthenticity and revive our ability to engage in soulful conversation? You must instill in yourself a wholehearted interest for your fellow human beings and have the courage to go beyond the norm and ask big questions. Granted, you cannot have a soulful conversation with everyone, but you can begin with good intentions and a willingness to share ideas and see what happens.

With most people you come in contact with, you will have to begin with the usual pleasantries of how are you, what do you do, where do you live. Then you can bring forth the what are you passionate and curious about. Ask someone big, open-ended questions, like, how do you feel about the state of this country or the world? Are you doing what you want to do? What do you dream about? What are your hopes? What gets you out of bed each morning? Some people may not know what to say because they never hear these questions. Be ready for some possible awkward moments and remember that the biggest gift you can give someone is listening.

The easiest way to test your boldness is to talk to the people you come in contact with every day, such as the local barista, cashier or waitperson. Ask an interesting or funny question. Try these and see what happens: Have you had any interesting dreams lately? Do you really like your job or would you rather be doing something else? What’s your favorite color and why? What’s one thing that you want to do that you have not done yet? You may learn something new or make a friend. At the very least, you may just brighten up the day.

Our society has become too mundane and superficial. It’s time to strike out and get people out of their boxes. Living is about mystery and connections. Lighting sparks of fires can result in deeper relationships and compassionate communication and help us take steps to wake up our society to a fuller potential both personally and otherwise.

I leave you with a passage from Goethe’s “The Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily.”

“Where do you come from?” asked the King.
“From the subterranean passages where gold is found,” said the snake.
“What is more precious than gold? asked the king.
“The light,” answered the snake.
“What is more precious than light?” asked the king.
“Conversation,” said the snake.

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One Response to “The Art Of Conversation”

  1. phyllis diehl Says:

    i am with you about conversation…..i always think back to when i was a teenager, and that is all we did talk and talk. and talk about our dreams, ambitions, disappointments and ourselves. and then we get older and there is so little time for talking. one of the best ways to have a good converstion, is to be a avid listenter….thank you so much for reminding me and refreshing me about the beauty and satisfaction in conversation…..and its free!!

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