This weekend, after months, no years, of thinking I really should go and visit an aunt and uncle, I made time. In my head, I have genuinely been busy, work to do, clients to keep happy, friends to see…etc.
There were subliminal reasons that prevented me from just making the journey, they don’t matter here, in fact, they don’t matter. The point of this post is, in this relationship, I had lost the art of conversation.
Turning Misunderstandings In To Understandings
The warmest of welcomes awaited me as I arrived, a tour of the magnificent and ever-changing garden and a journey down memory lane. During what turned out to be a deep, and yes, meaningful conversation, a golden opportunity arose. The opportunity to bring misunderstandings to light, and turn them into understandings. The moments were precious, so very important and ultimately, healing. Far more than a band-aid on a sore, the words that flowed between us healed from within.
The Trouble With Social Media
First of all, my telling off was well deserved. I had left it too long to have the conversation. Truthfully, I had avoided having it at all. When it finally happened this weekend, it was something of a wake-up call. We discussed why I haven’t been, and how I spend my time. My aunt’s words were wise, poignant, topical and bleedin’ obvious…
“You could have spent the time talking to me instead of on Facebook”
My accomplished aunt is of a generation that has escaped social media, she lives a full and productive life instead. She makes a very good point that, not only is so much time wasted by so many people, the opportunity for conversation is also being ignored. With social media being at the end of our fingertips from morning ’til night, it is no effort at all to interact with our ‘friends’ on the other side of that screen. Perhaps more significantly, these are superficial interactions that don’t deal with challenge, or face difficulties; our Facebook lives are perfect, aren’t they?
The Path of Least Resistance
How long will it be before we lose the art of conversation? Like electricity or water, it is human nature to choose the path of least resistance. Metaphorically speaking, how much easier is it to waste an hour on social media than to make the journey to real friends and relatives, have the difficult conversation, spend the time. It’s easy to post click bait on a social media account and therefore feel popular, it’s not as easy to tackle a challenging situation, discuss it positively to resolve it and end up with enriched, enhanced and more meaningful relationships.
I have always been mindful of the words of a dearly loved friend, “Hang on to the young generation by the shirt tails, or they’ll go without you”. But strangely, this weekend taught me to hang on to the older generation by their hands, or you will be without each other”. Thank you dear aunt for the valuable telling off; my life will be the better for it.