Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Exchange of Ideas

I have the gift of having a handful of friends gathered at my house for the next few days prior to another friend's wedding. These friends are so thoughtful and intelligent, it shames me. And they have spent the last thirty minutes or so engaging in the exchange of ideas. I have not offered much of anything to the conversation, but I have listened and taken it in and been pondering. Not because I am more thoughtful, but because I am insecure about the things which happen in my head. I've realized that I would not have done well in the age of antiquity in the great Greek debates with Plato, Aristotle, etc. etc. all the great thinkers. I would have loved to just sit around and soak it all in, but I'm not sure the teachers would have let me get away with it, at some point they would have drawn me into conversation and then I would have choked on my insecurity and died.
I enjoy reading and writing ideas, but I do not so much enjoy speaking them. Well, I do. Just not when someone counters them. Which, you know, puts debate to bed quite quickly. I think I like reading and writing because it allows me to keep the ideas to myself, where they are safe. At least to me. They could be incomplete or even wrong, but they're safe and apparently in my own personal economy, safety and comfort are more valuable than truth. Which is a curious discovery, seeing as I value honesty and authenticity among the chief qualities of a person.

1 comment:

amyrose said...

I often feel the same way. I think part of it is because if I write something down, then there is a disconnect in the response time. That lapse frees me a little from what I have written, for it is possible that even my own opinions have changed in the meantime. In a direct conversation however, with statements and rebuttals, you have to be willing to be immediately "attacked" if someone disagrees, and that makes me uncomfortable too. Even if the topic is pretty tame.

Although, even in writing sometimes I get a little disgruntled when people misinterpret what I've written, say on my blog. I've learned to let that go though. Not everyone will understand what I mean, and not everyone will agree even if they did or when they do understand. But that took a while... am I rambling? It's because there is no one to respond I suppose... :)