The Dying Art of Good Conversation

In the current state of the world, our connections are being created through the internet more often than in face-to-face interaction, which is frustrating. It is human nature to make connections with each other, and it doesn’t get more real than through a meaningful conversation.

Everything nowadays is about being better, faster, stronger. Advertising the newest technology that can further your life. Getting stuck on social media instead of being productive, checking the number of likes your selfie on Instagram got for the fifth time in 3 minutes.

I know this is a negative view, but technology is great when used in the right context; if it’s not relied on or overused. We get to connect with distant friends and see what they are doing with their lives, work from a place we call home, and access a seemingly infinite amount of information on the internet. Learning to control ourselves to not overindulge is a process, but is necessary to make the most out of our lives.

In my eyes, conversations are one of the best things we can do to improve our lives and make us happier. We need to stay up late to have more heart to heart talks with our best friend, or decide to talk on the phone with Mom (who everyone knows could go on for hours). If we continue to overlook the importance of human connection, we will surely lead ourselves to the downfall of humanity. It is human nature to connect with like-minded others, and something is getting in the way.

Maybe that’s why I felt lost in this generation; stuck in this age of information. So many facts to learn, truths to disclose, feats to witness, experiences to have. I needed a release, a way to take a break from all this commotion.

So I tried a lot of things, and adopted many of them into my life. But, time and time again, I found that having a good conversation was the best remedy. And by good, I don’t mean small talk about how your day is going. I mean the real, intimate, mind-blowing, thought-provoking kinds of conversations.

All conversations should be more like this. It is a time when you can talk with someone about anything that might come to your mind. Let your thoughts flow as you speak the words. This can be so beneficial in your life, especially your relationships, well-being, happiness, creativity, and even sanity (if that ever needs saving).

When you engage in a style of conversation that is fully open, you learn to break down barriers and reveal your true, genuine self to whomever you’re speaking with, but more importantly, to yourself.

I’ve battled anxiety for a couple years now, and while I’ve pulled away from it, it will never truly leave me. I definitely believe that conversations helped me think more clearly and find my true self. Through conversations, I was able to exchange ideas on the nature of the world that we exist in, how we operate, what drives us, what love really is, how we should express emotions, what family means to different cultures, differences between meditating and praying, the food we are putting in our bodies, how drugs can affect our minds, what death is or isn’t, if there is a God, and the list goes on.

It’s like looking up some astounding fact on the internet and reading everything you can on the topic. The difference with a conversation is that you think about the countless answers, searching for what your true beliefs are.

* * *

There is nothing that is true, until you find it in yourself.

* * *

So, the difficult task in front of us is how to get this kind of critical-thinking into our daily, hectic, high tech lives. This is why I feel stuck. No one wants to randomly contemplate why the universe exists when you are walking through the grocery store. But there is a part of every person that shares this curiosity.

Some people are more prone to this style of deep thinking, while others need some sort of agent to help them get to this depth of thought. This could be a guiding friend or mentor, a near-death experience, the death of someone meaningful, a religious conversion, a psychedelic experience, your will inside to want more, a mind blowing phenomenon: a rise in consciousness. I’m not sure where this agent comes from or how to know which style might help someone best, but I believe that is up to the individual to decide and find out.

Plato has a very compelling story for understanding how to approach this, titled The Allegory of the Cave. I suggest you read it yourself in his book, The Republic, or watch it here. But in short, imagine you were chained inside a cave and never saw what the outside world looked like. If someone tried to explain how beautiful nature is, they would sound completely ridiculous, even though they speak the truth. This story is questioning how you, as the one who has seen the light, the enlightened, can get someone to understand something that can barely be explained in a way that they consciously understand it.

As I’ve read and talked about Plato’s theory, conversation is at the core of this shift and is a key element to this awakening; the conversations that contemplate your most other-worldly ideas and bring a new understanding to your life.

And this is not a religious preach to find God, or calling for a change in the time that we live, because that can’t connect with everybody. Not everyone believes in the same religion or style of governing. Therefore, there must be a middle ground between all the different religions and science and philosophy and quantum physics that can help us understand life better.

And that is what a conversation can help us find. When you look inside yourself, you find what you believe. If everyone finds what their true beliefs are, and looks passed propaganda and advertising to see what life should really be, then we could start to think about how this world can be changed. Until then, I say we put down our phones, turn off the TV, and get lost in sharing our thoughts with each other.

There is so much of this world that can be discovered through conversation. The possibilities are endless.

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Published by

Zach

Writing about my thoughts and experiences. Reading books and always learning something new in my spare time. Settling for less is not an option in my life. I'm going to experience the world.

9 thoughts on “The Dying Art of Good Conversation”

  1. Zach, I’m so proud of you and I love that I whole heartedly agree with you on this topic. Just remember that the next time we see each other. I crave conversations like that. And I hate my level of dependency on social media and technology! Love you bud! Keep up the great work!

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    1. Thank you so much! We will need to find some time the next time we see each other, and get both of us away from technology. Hope all is well, and I love you too!

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  2. Great post. I have felt that a lot in the last few years, less human connections and more via technology. What you say about using technology in context is also true. Use in moderation is also very important.

    I was able to connect and reconnect with a lot of people through facebook which was great but then a few months ago I realized that I do not need to be in touch with or have all this information about all of them (a very personal opinion and experience). I felt like those who are meaningful in my life and those for whom I am meaningful, we connect anywayz whether we have social media or not. After that I limited social media a lot in my life and I have experienced in the last few months how I have been able to connect more in person with people after that, I just had more time for my parents and friends.

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    1. Thanks for the feedback Zara! I completely agree. After ditching social media for a few months and coming back to it, I also felt that it was nice to see where some old friends were in their lives. But I’ve found it’s best to use in moderation, like you said. It really comes down to finding the right balance. But at the end of the day, nothing beats the natural, amazing connections you make with only a select few people. I really appreciate hearing your thoughts on the topic!

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  3. I don’t know if you have come across the novel ‘The Celestine Prophecy’ written by James Redfield, but it delves into the art of conversation between two people or several and how we conventionally try to dominate the conversation to get our point across. But if we convey our thoughts with an open mind and our partner in conversation gives us their full attention and directs an intangible energy source towards us, the topic or idea can develop, our perspective changes and we have a revelation.

    Great post, I will definitely be getting my mitts on a copy of ‘The Allegory of the Cave’!

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    1. Wow, I’ll have to add that to the list of books I want to read. That is exactly the barrier I think that so many people have up and makes a deeper conversation happen. Thank you for reading and sharing Jacob!

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  4. This post is simply terrific !
    Great meaningful thoughts and feelings come out in such a soothing way when we come across real souls seeking for nothing but the truth .. the truth of all the entities around including their own truth .. And then start the genuine conversations ..

    Liked by 1 person

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