Four Panel Philosophy
I have always said that writers of comic strips often say more in four panels than most authors do in four books. This strip is not an exception. In these panels Calvin points out a problem in the quality of people’s conversations. However bad it was then, today this social downfall has likely become a bazillion times more pervasive. We know more about pop culture and interests than we do one another, and I think that is an awful injustice.
Saying Something About Nothing
I never lack amazement over how much pop culture has infiltrated my generation. There is nothing more depressing than walking into Books A Million and coming to the realization that a lot of the nick knacks, toys, and tchotchkes are being sold to adults not children. It is hard to decide whether it is funny or sad to see grown people buying action figures, spending their money on pieces of plastic that are part of a fad. While I can handle seeing toys targeted at adults, one of things I hate seeing taken captive by media, are the conversations between people. Oh, the never ending banter about sports, Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Taylor Swift, who is the best superhero, or whatever, choose the subject, topics that in light of eternity do not matter, seem to be more commonly the crux of people’s interactions. If it is among unbelievers, this sort of thing makes a bit more sense, but for believers, I just do not get it. When I was in Bible college, my peers would have knock out, drag down, fights over some of the most banal and insipid nonsense, yet when it came to anything Biblical or theological, it was mostly nonexistent. News flash, there will NEVER be a zombie apocalypse, so stop wasting your time having intense conversations as if it will one day happen, it wont! Saying something without saying anything is easy, human beings are masters of it, that is why we have to speak intentionally, when it comes to interacting conversationally. Not only are there a lack of conversations surrounding the Bible, but rarely did I hear many that had any meaning. Pop culture is like a religion. People build their whole existence around films, shows, literature, and music. I think what happens is many buy the lie that in and out of their-selves they are not interesting, then hide behind interests! Humans are complex, just being alive and breathing automatically makes you interesting! The other part to this is I think that we are afraid, because being open, talking about things of meaning, exposes us and presents some vulnerability. Friends, we do not have to be shallow, there is far more to life and the universe than pop culture or interests!
Motivation For Conversations
So what should we do? Talk about things that matter, it is that simple! Set the tone, be the one that takes your conversations and interactions to another level. If you want depth and transparency, start by being deep and transparent, the solution is easy. People talk about how they desire for others to be authentic, yet do nothing their selves to achieve authenticity. We value people who are open and honest, yet we fail to do so in our own lives. None of this is to say stop talking about media altogether, but there is more to life, and often our relationships stay on very basic layers. Peel back the onion of people. Yes, it is messy, and sometimes involves crying, but it is worth it to see the fullness of somebody. Humans are beautiful, flaws and all, to see in one another what Christ sees in us means diving beneath the surface. When is the last time you asked about your friends lives, how they are doing, where are they seeing success, or what they struggling with? Do you know what God is doing in their lives, the ways in which He is growing them, where they are having problems being dependent? When it comes to the Word, can you recall what the last thing was your friends have learned? At the same time have you shared those elements of your life with others, transparently divulging details no matter how hard it may be? It is a two way street, if you want people to be authentic with you, be authentic with them. Set an example, talk about what is genuine. You can know what people like without knowing who they are. This is where many, if examined, would find their relationships are at. We know a lot about what people enjoy and are interested in, but when it comes to information of a personal nature, most of us could not answer a single intimate question about a person if there were a gun held to our head.
So Then, What Next?
What more can I say? Go out of your way today to get to know something deeper about a friend or an acquaintance. Stop wading in the shallows, dive beneath the surface. Make your motivation to have genuine conversations, move beyond the superficial, get to know someone. If you want to, go for it, quit holding back, otherwise keep living life the way that you have.