We are social beings


January 15th, 2010

“Even daydreaming is DOING something!” Yes! Yes, it is. Thanks, David Robinson, for reminding me!

And so is talking, about nothing in particular, and everything at once. Who knows what ideas are sparked, what partnerships are forged, what forks in the road are taken? The simple, yet profound, pleasure of conversation is vastly under-rated, I think.

Consider my day job – facilitation. When I’m doing my best work as a facilitator I’m enabling conversation. To some it may feel slow, unproductive, even a waste of time. Yet it is through this most basic of human interactions that everything and anything becomes possible. Our organisations, our structures, and the systems we create are often blockages to the flow of conversation.

Do I believe then that conversation is the answer? Absolutely not! I do think it is an answer, a way to navigate the complexity of our lives and this world we occupy. Sometimes we become so enamoured of doing something, of being busy, and productive we forget to stop and talk with our fellow human beings. Sometimes being busy is a way of avoiding connecting with others.

This last week I’ve had more conversations than usual – some of them flippant, some pedestrian, some profound, some challenging. I’ve noticed myself being funny, caring, inquisitive, loving, self-absorbed, curious, bored, excited, drained, quiet, loud and thoughtful. Not all at once, though!

On the surface it looks like a typical summer holiday week. A friend from London staying for a few days, coffee in town with another friend, lunch with another who is about to start a new job, a visit from a long-time friend and confidante struggling with the expectations of The Boss, dinner, G & Ts, more friends drop in, more food, more wine, more conversations.

There’s no obvious answers to our collective and separate questions, no significant decisions, no amazing revelations. Yet. What we do have are our connections, shared experiences, and relationships that enable whatever comes next.

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