Interactions beyond just Hi and Bye.
“Hi, what’s your name?” would probably be the first thing you’d ask someone you just met. Then followed by, “How was your weekend”, right?
We hold conversations every day, to seek inquiries, to catch up with one another, or just talk about your day. Personally, I would usually consider these types of conversations as small talk; “surface-level” conversations. Because you often don’t really get the opportunity to learn something more meaningful about the person whom you’re speaking to, rather just an update from them instead.
Even when chatting with your own friends, do you remember when was the last time you all had a heart to heart talk about yourself or the people and things around you?
“What’s the purpose of YOUR life?
What milestones do YOU hope to achieve at the end of YOUR life?
If YOU can turn back time, what other decisions would YOU have make?”
These are just some thought-provoking questions that you may have probably thought about it at least once in your life, but have you ever spoke to someone about it? If yes, that’s great! If not, why .. not?
Why Do Deep Conversations Matter?
The truth is, people, learn by hearing each other’s thoughts. These deep conversations help us widen our perspectives and viewpoints in our everyday lives — whether we all agree to something or not.
Everyone has their own experiences as to how they live their life; what they see, what they do, what they feel etc. Without these deep conversations, it’s hard to understand one another, especially for the fact that we’re all living in this diversity.
In fact, conflicts and arguments are potential deep conversation starters. It’s totally alright to have different viewpoints for we all have our differences and priorities.
However, in order to be a critical thinker, it’s important that you’re emotionally aware of why you are for or against a certain opinion. Even if you were to disagree with someone else’s thoughts, you’ll need to be able to entertain it at least.
Or could it be possible that both sides of the arguments are true to a certain extent? If you ever thought about both sides, you’re a step closer to being a critical thinker. As a matter of fact, that’s how disagreements and arguments can turn into meaningful conversations.
“Discussions are always better than arguments. Because an argument is to find out who is right, and a discussion is to find out WHAT is right.”
Honestly, I am that type of person who has always been living in my own bubble, spending most of my days working and only a few hours for leisure before the day comes to an end again.
And then one day, I was triggered by a thought about how ignorant I have become while being safe in my own space during this world crisis. Not just the fact on how COVID-19 has impacted us all, but also how the existing social issues have amplified even more. Yet I’m just here, not really contributing much as an individual.
These thought-provoking questions naturally came to me right after and I was eager to bounce off my opinions and viewpoints to some of my friends. When I spoke to them, I realised that there were some moments of awkwardness, probably because we don’t usually talk about all these deep topics in real life before.
Even as we spoke about our own struggles and problems in our own lives as a youth, I could sense some moments of hesitation during our conversations as we spoke.
After a few conversations with a few friends, I wondered:
Why do we feel awkward or ashamed to tell our stories sometimes?
It isn’t because we’re the only ones going through our own challenges. Self-deprecating, managing self-esteem, and unsatisfactory self, just to name a few, are some of the struggles that many other youths faces today. I figured that it’s probably because of the boundaries that we set for ourselves, and expectations for others as a norm.
By boundaries I mean drawing lines between people who are slightly different from us, creating these tiny spaces for ourselves. These boundaries are also set as a differentiating point between people of different groups.
- The rich and the poor
- Male versus female
- The old and the young etc.
And if you have already realized, it is also what creates the inequalities and discrimination that exists between certain social groups of people in our society today.
And as we are all getting used to being in our own tiny “safe spaces”, to burst our own bubble and take the first step to create common spaces, it actually takes a lot more courage than you’d imagine.
As a youth myself, I feel that we all need to first agree that there is a lack of space to share our emotions and thoughts, a place where there is real freedom of speech and freedom of expression, where no one would judge us on who we are. These spaces are essential for deeper and more meaningful conversation to be carried out, for people to understand people a lot more than just what they appear to be.
You may be surprised, but you’ll slowly realize that as you speak more about yourself and articulate who you think you are into words, you’ll eventually understand yourself a lot more too. Having deeper conversations isn’t just about getting to know the other party, but it’s also a method to discover your inner self.
Understanding Yourself Can Help Impact The World
While it sounds a bit abstract and ridiculous, to understand yourself first — the reasons of your doings and actions can really change the world even in the slightest bit.
As we go through this period of crisis and hear the rising commotions about artists being the topmost non-essential category of workers, I seek your patience to hold your opinions and argument points as you continue reading my subsequent paragraphs.
Some agree, and some disagree. I get your points. But you see, what exactly does the term “essential” mean? While I hear some valid points about artists not being needed as much as our front line healthcare workers, I disagree that artists should be deemed as the topmost non-essential. Art, beyond just entertainment and leisure, it’s also therapy and one of those things that keeps us all sane during this period.
The reasons I could think of why most people see artists as ‘non-essential” would probably have to be that “All artists are self-obsessed and only care for their self-expression.”
As stated in this stereotypical sentence, the public see artists as “selfish” individuals and only do art for themselves.
At this point, I would like to bring your attention to realise the fact that, the moment you’re doing something for yourself, your category of work will drop down the tier towards being “non-essential”. It’s not just for artists, but to everyone else.
I can’t emphasize any further, but also hoped you’ve noticed that to understand your WHYs in doing something or reasons for your passions and interest, is really the first few steps to make the world a better place. To think for others more, and do more that helps with benefiting the society.
If you think that you’re passionate to pursue a certain career to earn “more money”, or be it for its prestige and status so that you’ll have a good reputation or whatnot….. I urge you to think again.
The Need For Deeper Conversations;
To understand why people do what they do and what are some of the things that are stopping people to do good work for the community? Why do some people care more and some people care lesser?
We need to type less, talk more; Talk more, and do even more. Sometimes we may feel lonely in this world, but you have to keep in mind that you’re never alone.
Someone out there, living in this same universe can understand you at a deeper emotional level for he/she has probably gone through the same mistakes or difficult times that you’re currently in. But you’ll need to have deep conversations to realise that because everyone has their own stories that they don’t tell.
Even your employees, your colleagues, your parents, your siblings, your friends, your teachers, your neighbours and even the uncle across the street has their own problems and challenges. Yet, there aren’t enough spaces for these conversations to be held and issues to be talked about.
Here’s a challenge for you today. Go and find someone to talk about all these deep-level questions. Trust me, it’s never too early to start.
As a social enterprise, Praxium was created to help young people find out their passions and empower them to work towards their dream career. All those issues mentioned above is one of the biggest reasons why we exist. We see that struggle in society and amongst the youth and want to help you find your passion.
If you ever feel stuck or want to explore talking about certain issues and want to have someone to bounce off opinions or whatnot, feel free to reach out to us at @praxiumsg on our Instagram Page or our other social media channels! We’re here to help.
(All images and graphics credits to undraw.co and google.com)