Afraid of being alone, we struggle to pay attention to ourselves. And what suffers is our ability to pay attention to each other, we lose confidence in what we have to offer others.*
When here thoroughly know how good we are, we can readily (and creatively) think well about how to improve. It is as simple as that.**
Welcome to a month of exploring conversation in which I’ll be reading through Sherry Turkle’s Reclaiming Conversation.
It may seem an unusual place to set out but conversation begins with how we speak to and listen to ourselves.
Turkle imagines Henry David’s Thoreau’s three chairs – one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society – as a picture for her exploration of a “virtuous circle of conversation” that has been interrupted by technology; as Nassim Taleb puts it here:
Technology can degrade (and endanger) every aspect of a sucker’s life while convincing him that it is becoming more efficient.^
I came upon the word ardent (to be very enthusiastic or passionate) as I was reading this morning and thought it a good word word to describe how we need to turn up in our conversations.
First of all, we need to be ardent on the inside, in the conversations we have with ourselves, as well as being ardent on the outside.
It’s easier to turn on the radio or iPad or check messages on our phones, wonderful distractions for taking us away from the conversations we need to have with ourselves, the ones that help us to identify problems and work through solutions, to sense directions to take and find the means of pursuing these.