Being Human

I love interesting conversations with open-minded people. I love laughing until I cry as someone shares their hiccups of a life in motion. I love learning about the people I talk with, their past, opinions, things they’ve learned and  what moves them the most.

I find it fascinating.

It bores me to talk about bullshit. Give me something that matters and pay attention when I bring the same. I can’t tolerate whining and complaining for long because it rains on all of us. All of us get kicked in the teeth once in a while. Now if you want to make it fun and designate a day, dress in black, bring wine and get all emo…that could be an occasional event, but let’s not live there.

We all have our turns at getting our heart broken.

Not giving a shit isn’t brave or cool. I did that for years. I know. It diminishes our value to ourselves and the human race. It’s fearful, weak and lazy. It keeps us safe and holds us back from pain and pleasure, risk and reward, sorrow and joy. It numbs us to everything good along with the bad we don’t want to deal with.

Is this why the art of genuine conversation is lost, or at least rare?

In re-humanizing myself, I’ve developed a laser-like focus on genuine engagement. It’s like some crazy experiment gone bad when I look around and see couples out to dinner with both sets of eyes locked on their phones. Or one staring at the TV over the bar while the other stares off into space.

No interaction.

I see one person talking about themselves in a never-ending litany of travesty and woe while the other has the glaze-eyed look of a trapped rabbit. At another time one is pontificating on their superior wisdom and skill while the other prays for salvation.

I feel like Rip Van Winkle waking up to a world I don’t recognize.

I saw a couple at dinner a few weeks ago. They were laughing, talking, looking at each other and holding hands across the table. They didn’t notice anyone around them, the waitress was an interruption. I stopped at their table on the way out and asked if they were newlyweds. They both grinned and he told me it was their one year anniversary. I congratulated them and told them they were a joy to watch together, and that I knew if they always tried to treat each other like this, like it was the beginning, that there would be no end.

They both thanked me and told me to have a nice evening. They may have been dialing 911 as I left, but no one stopped me.

I’ve got a good feeling about those kids. There’s a lesson there.

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