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