The Things We Talk About

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
– Eleanor Roosevelt

Small talk.  There isn’t anything difficult about it.  People talk about the weather all the time.  What did you eat for lunch?  Or what’s for dinner?  What are you doing this weekend?  It’s Friday!  TGIF!  What are you doing tonight?  Are you meeting up with so and so?  Oh…did you hear…?  And so on and so forth.  You get it.

Small minds discuss people.  I find myself in this boat all the time.  Unless I’m talking about the genius of my next door neighbor Einstein or the works of my best friend da Vinci, then I guess my people discussion is really small-minded.  And no, Einstein isn’t my neighbor.  I’m guilty.  I do it nonchalantly.  And the saddest part of it all is this: I talk about people that I am closest to.  To be utterly honest, I can’t admit to always talking about positive things.  It’s like the media.  When I’m talking about someone, it’s more than likely about something quite negative.  Why do I do it?  Unconscious habit, maybe?  Or just blatant disregard for the things coming out of my mouth?  No.  “They’ll never know.”  Not that either.  And it isn’t because it doesn’t matter to me.  I believe in the power of words, and that even when words aren’t used to target someone directly, they still hit.  At times, I do find myself physically blocking my lips with my hands mumbling, “I should stop.”  I truly make a conscious effort to be nice to everyone whether they are right in front of me or not.  So why talk about people behind their backs?  It’s a common thing that shouldn’t be.  An unnatural, natural thing.

I believe this ties in to the second part in that most events nowadays relate to some person.  Even high-profile, news-worthy figures are, in fact, people!  Average minds discuss events.  Of the great number of recent national events that occurred, what are people still talking about?  You know.  Not the decline in prison populations.  No.  Not the bankruptcy of Detroit.  No.  And not the drop in college enrollment.  No.  We are still in the course of talking about people, not issues.  And worse, negativity is still the driver.  Why can’t we talk about more positive events?  If we have nothing else to discuss but matters that are happening locally, nationally, and globally, I’m sure we can find positive discussions to engage in.

I never was one to settle for “average” (or at least I’d like to think so).  So in the course of self-improvement, let’s talk about ideas!  Great minds discuss ideas.  My mind’s been on a welcomed break the past few days, not having the urge to write much but rather read, read, and read.  The world is brimming with talent and wisdom and knowledge; how can we not immerse ourselves in it?  It’s unimaginably humbling to know that I can surround myself with the great thinkers of all time just by reading their very own words.  I can say I’m in the company of the most talented composers  just by listening to their music.  I can say that I am associated with the best innovators of all time just by completely enveloping myself into the discussion and practice of their ideas.  There have been and there are so many “greats” out there, and maybe, just maybe, they became as such by discussing brilliant ideas rather than gloating too much over the mundane.  I believe there’s a greatness in each of us and many of us don’t get there because we just don’t know how.  Maybe starting with the things that come out of our mouths is a good way.  Anyway, whatever comes out begins as a spark in our brains before they become words slipping through our lips.  Let your sparks be the brightest then, so when the words surface, you will glow.

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Author: Jennifer Longinos

I'm a freelance writer and a homeschooling mom of two awesome toddlers. If we aren't out on an adventure, we spend most of our days tickling each other on the bedroom floor, making things explode in the kitchen, jumping on piles of laundry before and after washing, or just doing random little things that make life absolutely worth it.

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