When I look at the news, I do not see much evidence of good conversation. Instead, I see lots of assertions crammed into short, catchy, often three word epithets or phrases right out of the school of revolutionary zeal, crafted by some dark marketers somewhere.
Truth as a pill to be obediently swallowed. “Hands, Face, Space;” “Freedom Day.”
One of the essential qualities required for good conversation is a willingness to be disturbed, question our worldview, and be prepared to consider things differently.
It is difficult not to sympathise with those in the travel industry right now as they face continued uncertainty around who can go where and under what conditions, whilst at the same time wonder what part of what is going on they do not understand.
Bill Clinton famously observed, “It’s the economy, stupid!” Today, and tomorrow, “It’s the planet, stupid!” is more appropriate. We seem blind to the reasonably obvious link – to have an economy, we need to be here in the first place, and that is increasingly uncertain – as current events in California and Germany show, to name but two. These are not anomalies; they are trends – as this post on LinkedIn shows shockingly clearly.
However difficult it might be, we need to redefine our relationship with the economy. Whilst it is a vital element in the way we live, it has become toxic as we regard it as the primary purpose of our existence.
This is a time for Windhorse, centredness and balance. A time to put the economy in its place, as servant, not master and to get past those crude, packaged messages coming from those who know what is happening but don’t want it happening on their watch.
This is a time for Dangerous Conversations, to mobilise the possible, and that is something each of us can start if we are to find a better way.