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Simplicity of Conversation

March 25, 2013

 

"I think we often forget that most people have extremely similar questions, hopes, struggles, needs, and goals as we do.. we’re all searching."

 

Traveling is a beautiful thing. One of my favorite parts about traveling is the diversity of the people you encounter. I’m not sure how much you travel but do you ever find yourself wondering what types of stories are behind the many faces around you? I know I do, especially while traveling or hanging out at a coffee shop (which seems to be a regular part of my life). I find it so intriguing discovering what has made someone the person they are today. It’s incredible how much you can learn through simply observing someone. It’s also pretty amazing how well you can connect with someone through simply taking the time to show interest in their story. At times I wonder why people so often fear opening a basic conversation with the person sitting next to them on a plane (yes I’m on a plane as I’m writing this), in line picking up their coffee, or running an errand… You get the picture. I had kind of a cool experience a couple days ago at a cafe in downtown El Paso, Texas. With two books in hand (‘The Irresistible Revolution’ by Shane Claiborne and 'Crazy Love’ by Francis Chan) I was looking at the lunch menu. The man behind me walks in and notices my latest reads and perks up, “Hey! I’ve read both of those books! What do you think of them?” And instantly a simple and meaningful conversation is created. We only chatted for a few minutes, but were able to talk a bit about intentional and practical living in a world full of injustice. I think we often forget that most people have extremely similar questions, hopes, struggles, needs, and goals as we do.. we’re all searching. We can relate to each other a whole lot easier than you may realize. So lets bring some greater intentionality to have meaningful conversation with our peers. Lets face it, the reality is that we need each other. You never know when you might make the world of a difference to someone’s day or vice versa.

 
I look back to the time I broke my nose snowboarding and was sitting in the emergency room. I felt compelled to speak to the guy sitting across from me and find out some of his story. After chatting about what we do, we ended up getting on the topic of traveling. We talked about my at the time, recent trip to Europe and one of his trips to Mexico. The conversation mostly consisted of how both our eyes had been opened through our travels to the hope that exists through community. The purpose and joy found in making a difference in the lives of those around us, putting others above self. The next day he had found my Facebook music page and left a message of gratitude. He expressed how he was feeling stuck in a rut and how our conversation had opened his eyes to living with purpose and how there really is hope out there. I love it when things like that happen. So lets break this mold of fear that people don’t understand us and have some conversation!

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