Thursday, November 18, 2010

Reflections on Conversation

I attended a marvelous IABC event in San Francisco last Tuesday called Networking Nine. Nine people come together to have dinner and discuss a common topic. It was wonderful to have a real conversation.

It is unfortunate that we seem to engage in true conversation so little any more. I remember when I was a boy, my father frequently would invite one of our ministers to Sunday dinner after church, and we would discuss the sermon at the table. It was very intellectually stimulating. Too, it seemed we had some of those kinds of conversation when I was in college living in dorms. Now most of these conversations occur when one of my kids is studying something at school, and they come to me (usually at 11:00 p.m. when I've decided to turn in) and want to discuss, for example, Emerson, Transcendentalism and Self Reliance.

Unfortunately, most of my interactions with others now seem to be in sound bites. I lay responsibility for most of this on the rise of television and online activities. And while we can interact online through blogs and comments, typing thoughts is not the same as talking with someone.

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