The Lost Art of Conversation

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It became so apparent on my trip to Montana how the world of technology has consumed our nation. While people were enjoying the beautiful sites of Glacier National and Yellowstone they were busy sending emails and texting. The concept of talking to people while you were standing and waiting for a bus or for Old Faithful to Erupt didn’t even cross one’s mind let alone the thought of just enjoying the beauty.

Thinking about my Century Ride this past Saturday, while we were waiting to start the gentleman next to me asked me where I was from and thus the exchange began that lasted for the next 100 miles. We covered topics ranging from cycling, the EPA, human trafficking, hiking, spotting bald eagles and blue birds to being a vegan (him not me) just for starters. It was actually fun to bounce from topic to topic and continue to keep introducing new topics while we rode. I learned a lot from the conversation and it reinforced the value we each bring to conversation but we must be willing to engage.

Sunday I was on a boat tour of the Gates of the Canyon and we had a moment to get off the boat but I stayed on. I challenged myself not to get on my iphone but to engage with others on the boat. It was a delight to learn about what happens on a dude ranch and share my thoughts on the best plan for Glacier National Park. I even discovered the two people in my row were actually from South Florida and they plan on visiting the shoppe when they get home.

I mourn the lost opportunities where I chose my iphone vs the live person next to me. It is so easy to hide behind our technology but our lives miss the richness that can only come from other people.

I am committing to not using the iphone as a default when in public to ensure I don’t miss out on the treasure of interacting with others. Next time you have a choice will you choose conversation?

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