One's personality is both a composition and reflection, but if I have to choose one of them, I will choose reflection as the "self" is more important to me than "me". One's composition may change, walking across the cultural landscapes and climbing the social ladder but one's self is tied to one's reflections. The fun part is that reflections are not bound to "Time-Space" barriers ( it is not time-space) and respective mental constructs, which have grown so thick over ages, that they had reduced the image of humans to Sisyphus, rolling different sizes of boulders on hills of different heights.… As the name of this Blog indicates, knols are my perspectives on topics of interests, sweet/bitter experiences or just doodling :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Why we need conversations?

I want to begin by Coca Cola's President…Donald Keogh’s... quote… he says, “What separates those who achieve greatness in our world from those who do not is directly proportional for one’s ability to ask for help”….. This quote caught my attention and you might also have liked it…. The fact is…it is just an opinion… but this opinion might give us a new perspective about our behavior and it may inspire us to reach other people….. Whatever the results…it affects our lives…..and it is why we like to listen to people with strong opinions……..

We listen to politicians, to news analysts, to philosophers, scientists, men of letters and public speakers because they have strong opinions on certain issues…. We might favor or oppose their opinions depending…how their opinions will affect our lives……

Where opinions come from?….and why some people get strong opinions on certain issues?…. We get opinions from our experiences in life….from things that have already affected our lives either positively or negatively…. If we got affected very strongly by some events or something…we become more sensitive and build strong opinions…….

To me, conversations are exchanges of opinions. The question is….why exchange of opinions is important? It helps us in our choices… helps us to have a new perspective….It helps to do things more efficiently… It helps to think out of religious or cultural boxes we have...or to see new colors of lives through other cultures……

Let me explain the points that I made by few examples from common experiences….how others’ opinions shape our behaviors and affect our choices…. One of the common examples is shopping…People like different ways of shopping and I love online shopping so my example is also about online shopping..

I was time consuming for me to shop for what I liked and sometimes I couldn’t find them…still some of them were not the same quality and price ranges that I was expecting… The time factor was crucial for me… I talked to my neighbor downstairs who have worked for stores sometimes….he suggested me for online shopping… I was not sure whether it will work or not…but I gave it a try….

Searched for items with characteristics that I was looking for…read the comments of people who have used them…comments of people were really useful to choose from them…I ordered some of items that I was looking for. When I got them…I was really happy. I could easily find what I was needed with lower prices… Finding discounts and coupons dropped the costs dramatically… It really changed my behavior and perspectives about shopping… It all came from a simple conversation… I look to comments as opinions of people and these comments are really guiding me to save time and money and be happy with money I am spending… It is the power of conversation and listening to opinions….

Conversations help us to have a new perspective….. I think it is interesting to know, how a conversation changed my perspective about New York City overnight….

When I reached New York City…it was already dark…soon after reaching hostel and checking in…I wanted to explore the city… I was really excited for exploring one of the largest cities of the world. One main reason was my linking New York City with Hollywood and Bollywood movies that I have I couldn’t wait for morning…. I came out….tall walls of buildings on both sides of streets were an obstacle to see much and a lot of people who were walking on walkways were making me to watch for myself…. While watching for myself… I noticed group of young people who were wearing half zipped hoodies…chains hanging around their necks and they were walking heavily like ducks….. Oh! It is not safe… I may get robbed… I thought..but I was hungry and I had to eat something before going to bed… I entered a pizza shop at the corner of street…. People inside…mostly had fat round heads, big round arms with big and evident bellys…their heavy body sizes and tattooed necks…were making them look, like wrestlers….my suspicion confirmed that I am not in a safe place… soon after finishing my pizza, I come back to hostel to sleep……………..

Next morning…. I headed to Central Park for a morning walk…. I thought it would be a nice beginning of the day… In front of a pond…a gentle man in his forties was sited on a bench gazing at pond. It occurred to me as Socrates is gazing at sun and is contemplating about some deep thoughts….I sat beside him to witness a revelation occurring to a great man… After a while he stopped gazing and asked me, “Sir! Can you buy me a cup of coffee? Please!!!!”….. It was a shock for me… he was not Socrates but a homeless person. I gave him a few dollars and started exploring the central park… What the hell..There were a lot of dogs…no one was alone…almost everyone was accompanied by a dog… I am afraid of dogs… and here everywhere were dogs running… I thought it is better to leave the park than trying all the time controlling my nerves……

Tall buildings and crowded streets made me really tired… let me give an example that how crowds were frustrating… At subway’s platform a group of musicians were playing a nice music…there were only few people watching it..I liked the performance… I started recording the performance..After a minute or two there were too many people that I hardly could see anything or hear anything… Still in subway train…people were either looking to floor or to ceiling…. Or playing their gadgets…. Are all these people angry at something?

During night when I returned to hostel…I was exhausted… New York City was not the city I was expecting and I was sad about that…. In the hostel..I met a smiley African American… he asked me about my experience of New York City…and I told him that “there are too many skulls that I failed to make a sense out of them”…. He smiled and started telling about history and culture of New York City…It was an eye opening briefing for me… What made me to rethink of New York City was his stress about diversity of perspectives about life…. You have your perspective of life… but New York City is home to several Millions of different perspectives about life….. Wow… I never thought that way… I was looking to appearances of people…. I was looking to tall buildings… the life was inside those people, walking on walkways or was inside those tall buildings… I had to approach them..Have a conversation to them so I could appreciate them…

Conversation also helps to understand yourself… …

I am a person who born with concept of judgment day and all of morality and ethics was based on this concept… Reading and listening to Richard Dawkins didn’t change anything in my concepts… until I met a born atheist …who never believed in life after death… When you see somebody in flesh that has a totally different perspective then it make you think seriously… It was first time that I thought that…what kind of person I would be if I wouldn’t believe in judgment day…. And the answer shook my heart… I would be a Blue Wolf……..

I end quoting again, Donald…. “What separates those who achieve greatness in our world from those who do not is directly proportional for one’s ability to ask for help”….and help you may ask most is…. others’ opinions…. ..

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