I Love Talking to People

This topic is pretty simple and straightforward.  I love talking to people.  All kinds of people.  And for me, it’s been that way for years.  My (strongly held) personal view is that my life has been immensely improved by actively talking with folks.  Prove it, you say?  Okay.  I will.

People Can Teach You Two Things

It’s true.  People really can teach you two things; 1)What to do, and 2) What not to do.  Like I said before – simple right?

But believe me, the concept is powerful!  [Full Disclosure: this concept isn’t mine.  Actually, it’s a quote from the movie Mo Better Blues.  One of Spike Lee’s films.  I love that flick.]  And through the passage of time, those words have proven true time and again.

By chatting with people in all kinds of differing circumstances I have learned plenty of valuable life lessons.  Both great and small.  And these lessons have helped me to improve my conduct, my outlook on things, and broadened my perspective of world.  Those benefits equal up to a Big Win by my count.


Learning From The People

Apparently, I am not the only person that feels this way.  For some entertaining reads on the subject, take a look at this, this, and this.  (Funny how coming across other posts on this topic can buttress an opinion’s credibility.  Alright, on with the show)

I can’t remember where I read it, but once I came across some wisdom that mentioned how actively interacting with people would instill a deeper understanding of life and human nature in a person.  Believe me – that is right on the money!   I have learned so much from talking to folks, I couldn’t even begin to list it all.  In my travels, I have learned interesting lessons from

  • kids
  • immigrants
  • old timers
  • neighbors
  • people in waiting rooms
  • criminals

You name it, I’ve talked with them.  And in hindsight, it is the accumulation of those interactions that have impacted me.  In a good way.


Hearing The Stories

Rapping with people in the community is about more than idle chatter; it is about listening to the stories they have to tell.  It makes a difference when you listen to another person’s perspective on life through the stories they have to tell.  By doing this, my perspective on life has broadened, and it gives me insight into subject matter that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

Here’s what I mean.  Among other things, I have come to appreciate the opportunity that comes with living in America because of my experiences of talking with the newcomers.

Many times immigrants to the country have told me about their journey and their goals.  Not only are those stories interesting to hear, but they have been instructive for me.  The chats with men and women from all over the world has helped me appreciate this place for truly being the land of opportunities.  If you are willing to work hard and commit to achieving a defined goal, anything is possible.  Obama has said something similar.

But my views on achievement wouldn’t be so well defined had I not had the advantage of those conversations with so many strangers.  Yes, I know that hard work can lead to rewards, but it was seeing that concept through the eyes of another that has made all the difference for me.


Broadening Horizons

Coming into my own years back, I know now that I had a general, black-and-white idea of how things worked.  Life was what tv and the movies told me it was (to some extent).  How ironic that seems to me now, because at the time I didn’t even fathom that I thought like that.  But by discussing things with individuals over time, I ended up broadening my entire perspective.

My views on politics, religion, health, wealth, the family, and even sports have been influenced by countless folks over time.  Both through an in-depth series of conversations and through quick one-time chats.  While I have studied different topics on my own, it is interaction with others that helped me develop the lens that has shaped my perspective.

And honestly, I’ve learned the most by discussing things with people I didn’t agree with at the time.  When I listened to what someone else had to say on a topic, I got a firsthand understanding of another viewpoint’s reasoning.  What a relief that turned out to be.  It actually stretched my outlook to see things from an alternate point of view.  And those experiences have trained me to do this routinely now.


But if I stayed to myself in my own little box, how else would I know these things?

Therefore, I would encourage you to seek out the wisdom and counsel of your neighbors.  Believe me, they have plenty of value to add to your life if you just let them.  The key is in the breaking of the ice.

In other words, just get out there.  The true reward lies in the journey.

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