Conversations

Conversations today: banal generalities that lack depth.

I find there is a loss of meaningful conversations in a sea of 140 character tweets and status messages. Very few people take the time to focus on the topics that truly have an impact on our daily lives. We shy away from religion and politics because we don’t want to upset the people sitting across us.

A freedom of speech is only worthwhile if we are not afraid to say what is on our mind.

Instead, we want to talk about sports, celebrities, the Royal family, and debate about what will happen with the Star Wars franchise. By avoiding the deeper topics, we avoid getting in touch with what it means to be human. Life amounts to nothing more than distractions and stresses that are ultimately frivolous.

As I sit here in a coffee shop, there are no conversations happening. Coffee culture has been replaced with to go cups and cell phones. People are more interested in what is happening in their life (through their phone) than in who is sharing that experience in the coffee shop with them. Perhaps, they steal a glance to scan the room for people they know and any attractive men/women, but that is the extent human interactions go.

Baristas make small talk with customers when they aren’t busy. Of course, when a different customer comes in the door, things grind to a halt. Conversations end with a thud, not with an invitation for others to join in. Taking care of the customer takes precedence over any other events that may be happening.

We have so much more in common with each other than we think. It is frustrating to look around and not being able to connect. There are unspoken rules when you are supposed to approach people. In a convention of thousands of people, it is okay. In a coffee shop with five patrons, it is more threatening.

I get it. People are busy. People will always be busy surviving, doing what it takes to get through their days, whether it is the prior commitments with social gatherings, work or raising a family. With all the technological achievements of the past 300 years, we still can’t manage to find the time to connect with people.

I wonder what fear we have that keeps us away from each other now.

If we don’t have the patience to type “you,” how are we to discover the richness of life?