Temple Micah is in the midst of a “listening campaign”, geared up to getting more people to talk to one another and to effecting change based on what they say.
I went to a progress meeting yesterday which included those who had initiated some of the 68 conversations that had taken place, others like me who were the invited conversants, and still others like my husband who has yet to be invited to participate in any capacity.
As part of the meeting, we were asked to have a 15-minute conversation with someone we didn’t already know well and to tell each other stories about ourselves. I found myself faced with sharing the more positive parts of my life -- love of music, literacy efforts, joy from cooking, wanderlust -- or quite to the contrary talking about the things that scare me -- fear of losing mobility, possibly reincorporating an adult child into our household, worries about an aging dog.
In 15 minutes it was hard to cover a lot of ground, especially since it was a conversation with both people talking. I’m sure my “partner” came away with a rosy view of my life. I steered completely clear of the troublesome topics that define me just as much as the upbeat ones do.
In reality most of us are a mix of positives and negatives. I find myself reluctant to entrust my fears with someone I don’t know extremely well. Yesterday I talked about my passion for languages and my recent quest to recapture Spanish. It would probably have been a lot more beneficial to me to discuss the things that are most troubling to me.