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UA Social Experiment: Why Must We Always Make an Excuse for Quality Conversation? (Miniblog #336)

by Carson T. Clark on March 30, 2014

American social etiquette is weird. It seems… unnatural. Is there anything more basic for what it means to be human than people conversing with one another? I mean, seriously, isn’t conversation a distinguishing feature of our species? If so, why is it that we’re always having to make excuses for why we’re going to talk? We talk over dinner. We talk over coffee. We talk after a movie. We talk while working on the car. We talk while going for a walk. All these kinds of things. Why don’t we perceive good conversation to be the ends and the means unto itself? Why must we always see it as the secondary mortar between the primary bricks? Why can’t the purpose of our time together simply be enjoying the company of one another during quality conversation? Why is it that whenever we invite people over just to talk it sounds so ominous? You want the truth? My whole life I’ve found this apparent inability of people to just sit and enjoy quality conversation to be rather annoying. So, I figured it’s about time we challenge that. This Tuesday night at University Abbey we’re trying something of a social experiment. We’re going to intentionally violate that social etiquette by getting together to talk without packaging it within any other excuse. Yes, games will follow as they always do. That’s not the focus of the evening, though. We’re not doing a Bible study. We’re not having a prayer meeting. We’re not singing worship songs. We’re not sharing a meal. We’re not hosting a paper or film discussion. We’re not watching the game. We’re not putting on a party. No one is giving a guest lecture. There is no designated agenda. We’re just going to talk in a free-flowing conversation and see what happens. My intention is that we’ll discuss our hopes and dreams, ideas and passions, faith and doubt, fears and concerns, people and places, experiences and expectations… all the good stuff of life. We’re removing all pretense of it being about anything else other than enjoying one another’s company and will see what happens.

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