"Talk is not the answer!” That’s what passes these days for a presidential quote. And, yes, I took it out of context. The president was tweeting this morning about North Korea. He was not, I’m pretty sure about this, engaged in deep self-reflection. Because, if he had been, he’d have been half right. Talking is only part of a conversation.
I was reminded of this today in a meeting that involved a composer, who talked about how silence is part of a musical composition. As a group, we were also thinking and listening, which I would argue may be more important to a conversation than mere talking. We were planning an event where we hope participants will come curious about strangers and open to what they may have to say about a shared experience.
It’s barely noon and already I’ve learned a lot. I need to talk less, listen more, think more deeply, be open to some silence and be willing have a conversation with a stranger. And, somehow, I thought the president would never teach me anything.