While collecting my paper at the building entrance yesterday; two neighbours passed.
They know each other by name, but neither used them.
I only know them to day hello, but I know their names.
She said: “how are you doing?”
His answer: “I’m still kicking”
Her response: “well, that’s the main thing”
Every day we miss knowing 7.5 billion fellow earthlings we don’t know. Isn’t it worthy to address people we know by name? Like ‘hi Bob’, or ‘good morning Sally’ – wouldn’t that produce more relevant conversation?
We are often rushed – but most times we aren’t. Couldn’t we demonstrate we know someone’s name, and take time to say it? Couldn’t we really ask and answer those questions with something true and useful. Sure, nobody wants to violate boundaries or bore someone with whining about arthritic joints or which team lost last night’s big game – or maybe they do?
How often are we asked that – or ‘what’s up?’
We know what they mean, they know we know. So, whether it is a formal request, gilded invitation or a simply grunt we understand, there is a societal phenomenon, curiosity manifested in social graces – we want to know what is happening with others without volunteering what is going on in our oft-twisted bellies. We’ll make polite conversation – and perhaps ask deep probing questions, but how are we at responding when those deep questions are turned back upon us? When we don’t have meaningful conversations – when we just grunt pleasantries or nod – the problem is NOT with the other guy.
So what is my point?
Conversation is life’s lubricant, that’s the main thing!