We delight in regular visits from our 20-something bright spark of a nephew. The enticement for him is a home-cooked meal, free beer and a comfy take-me-as-I-am place to hang out. The joy for us is conversation popping with excitement, alternative-lense insights, tough questions, and challenges to the accepted way of things. Sharing the experience of his unfolding world reconnects me with the wonder and thrill of those many discoveries and first-times that have faded into the obviousness of life.
Last night he shared a recent treasure he’d picked up: “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people”. An exciting discovery. First time you hear this, it zings you as one of those wowee truisms. Yes! Of course! It’s a thrill to find these words out in the universe … thanks for bringing that one back to me. That’s it … That’s why these dinners are so stimulating. They are all about ideas. Any forays into chatter about events or people quickly fade and die from lack of input or energy. We’re back to ideas.
Makes me reflect on what am I talking about, and with whom? With whom do I discuss ideas? With whom do I discuss events or people? Surely people are as important to us as ideas. So perhaps it’s the flexible interweaving of all of the above that create rich and stimulating dialogue. It’s the breadth and the depth of what we put out there that forge connections and fuel expanded thinking and understanding.
The next time the conversation sags and drags I’ll be asking myself if we’re stuck in small-minded topics. Let’s mix it up and move it up the line.