When is the last time that you had a great conversation?
I love this excerpt from Irish poet, theologian and philosopher John O’Donohue’s conversation with Krista Tippet of On Being. It comes from one of the last interviews this brilliantly grounded thinker gave before he passed.
“When is the last time that you had a great conversation? A conversation which wasn’t just two intersecting monologues, which is what passes for conversation a lot in this culture. But when had you last a great conversation in which you overheard yourself saying things that you never knew you knew, that you heard yourself receiving from somebody words that absolutely found places within you that you thought you had lost and a sense of an event of a conversation that brought the two of you on to a different plain, and then fourthly, a conversation that continued to sing in your mind for weeks afterwards.”
O’Donohue’s words struck a deep chord with me.
We’re so often just waiting for another person to finish speaking so that we can get our point in. As if the conversation was a transaction, rather than a shared discovery.
What would happen if we were truly present instead?