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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Small talk

I'm not much for small talk. I'm not much for trivial discussions. The topics that will peak my interest and get me talking are those topics most people choose to avoid: religion and politics and philosphy.

Sure you might catch me discussing the weather for a moment or two to break the ice, but beyond that I'd much rather have a discussion about things that will make a difference in the world. I'd much rather discuss that of which will advance wisdom. Even a discussion about a good book is more worthwhile than one about the weather.

As a matter of fact, I don't even watch the weather on TV or choose to learn about it on the Internet unless I have a vacation or something planned and want good weather. Other than that, I see no need to know what the weather tomorrow will be. It's not like you can do anything about it.

It is said to be rude not to mingle and talk to people at a social gathering. It is also important to follow the rules of small talk, which include not talking about personal things and not talking about controversial topics such as politics and religion, or complicated like philosophy.

I'm not much of a socializer in this regard. I don't like to talkl about things I don't care to know the answer to, or won't remember anyway. To ask someone how he is doing, and to have that person tell me about his house and what his favorite color is to me isn't interesting. As soon as the discussion is done I'll forget it anyway. That's just me.

However, if the discussion is about politics you'll peek my interst. I usually remember what people say about politics. I usually remember what people say about the medical field. You'll get my interest if you talk politics, or religion, or philosophy. Yet unfortunately most people don't want to discuss those things.

Likewise, I never bring up those things either. My wife is more social than I, and she is more social. Yet you won't hear her discussing politics, religion and philosophy. And when she does she's like most people in that regard, and will be more likely to tell you what you want to hear. Most people, I think, are this way.

I think this is unfortunate. When my brother brought up the topic of politics once on facebook there was a neat discussion -- between two people. Most everybody else shied away for fear they would offend others. Yet if you are so afraid to offend by sharing your opinion, how are we ever going to progress as a society.

There are many of us who are afraid to discuss God and Jesus even though we believe in God and Jesus. We're afraid people will be annoyed or say something like, "That's Rick Frea. He's the religios person."

So it's easier just to avoid such conversations. It's easier not to discuss politics. So then when our kids go to school and the teacher tried to convince that global warming is true, and that the Bible shouldn't be in public schools, they have no reason to think the teacher might be wrong. It's easier for people who have an agenda to shape minds. It's easier for people to brainwash our kids.

It's our own fault as a society if this happens. If you believe Obama is dangerous, why should you be afraid to speak out? If John McCain truly believes taxes and spend policies are good, then why must he pretend to be a conservative? If you believe one thing, why are you so afraid to speak what you believe?

We have become a politically correct society. It is for this reason Whoopie Goldgerg stormed off the set in anger when Bill O'Reily said something like, "Muslims were responsible for 9-11." Even if what Bill said is not true, it's what he really believes. So why must we be so offended by Bill's opinion. Why must we get so offended as to get mad and act irresponsibly?

Why do we say we need less particsanship? Why do we say we need less political vitriole? Why do some of us force the rest to be politically correct? What if I don't want to be politically correct?

Another good example is global warming. I had a patient who said to me that the fact we had one of the warmest summers last year is proof of global warming. I wanted to say to him that I used the fact that the summer of 2009 was the coldest on record as proof there is no such thing as global warming.

So why was I so afraid just to say the truth. We could have had a great discussion. Yet the reason I didnt' was for fear that he would get angered at me. I might "offend him." To me this is ridiculous. No one should become angered and offended at another's opinions, at least if he has his priorities straight.

Yet that is how it is. And it is for that reason small talk is the way to socialize. And if you don't socialize you are a social outcast; you are gauche. In this way, I am gauche. And it is for this reason that I blog.

Here, in the blogosphere, we can discuss whatever we want. We, in the blogosphere, open doors we are not allowed to open in the normal realm of discussions, in a world where small talk is the only way to go. In a world where intelligent topics are taboo.FacebookTwitter

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I totally agree. I am very interested in current events and politics and very often feel like the odd man out because others just aren't aware and don't care to learn more. Ironically they are all able to tell me who won on DWTS.