The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Competition: Talk to People Face to Face in 2016

Ready, set, LISTEN! Would you
be willing to meet THIS guy?
J.S. Brooks Presents provides a year-long challenge for everyone (pass it on). This year, 2016, toss aside memes and their skewed take on reality, pitch what social media tells you is happening, and overlook what the pundits have to say. Instead, make this the year of talking and listening to other people personally, face to face (radical stuff in an election year, I know), wherever and whenever you encounter them. Don't let someone else's agenda color how you see folks. Take the time when opportunity presents itself to ask people questions and find out about their lives, their hopes, dreams, struggles, and fears. If you can, break bread with them (religious talk for taking a coffee break by the way ... I've just given away a deep dark secret), get something to eat and something hot to drink (for some reason we are more apt to feel good about others when we are holding hot drinks, go figure). I had the chance to ask a dentist once why he did what he did. It was fascinating. He was a craftsman who liked to work with his hands. My filling became his artisan handiwork made just for me.

My daughter tells me my call to ministry has changed me, a lot. She says, before I went into this vocation (that means it takes up more of your life than a 9 to 5 job ... more secrets revealed) I kept to myself. Now, she states, "You'll talk to anyone!" Sure enough, over Christmas I spent time talking with and helping a homeless man. I was startled when offering to pray for him and we prayed for each other (he was darned good at it by the way) and then he sang some wonderful hymns he had created from Bible verses he had read. A few days ago, I got caught up in a conversation with a restaurant owning, operating couple and discovered how their lives, faith, and work were intertwined. You can learn a lot when you are curious, willing to listen, and not ready to write people off based on what others have told you they are like.

Let 2016 be the year of personal discovery. At the end of the year, send me the best of your experiences in the comments. I'll give the coveted digital NO award to the very best of them. Let the games begin. Let the year of getting to know others personally and without agenda and without fear or anger truly begin! Share this far and wide. Let's make face to face conversation (more listening than speaking ... and no pontificating please) a global phenomenon in 2016!

To discover what I learned from the restaurant owners, see: http://jsbrookspresents.blogspot.com/2016/01/filet-of-soul-restaurant-in-downingtown.html

To understand why appreciating the diversity of people all around us (rather than fearing them) is important, see: http://jsbrookspresents.blogspot.com/2016/01/power-of-diversity.html

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