TED Conversations

Thomas Hawkins

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When does a conversation become worth while?

I want to know when a conversation is worth while? Is every conversation worth having? Are we just venting or gaining something? Perhaps a little of both, but are they both just as important?


Closing Statement from Thomas Hawkins

It seems for the most part that the majority of people determine the worth of a conversation by satisfying selfish and/or mutual group needs. A follow up question would be, do we think about satisfying these needs before entering a conversation? I don’t think that we do on a social playing field, gossip, etc; therefore, it is fair to say that for the majority not all conversations are worth having. Worth while conversations are those where we are able satisfy/solve our needs/questions. Therefore, this must require some premeditative thought, to an extent, depending on severity and consciousness of the individual’s needs and desires of the future conversation.

Although, I’d like to propose and entertain the idea that "all" conversations are worth while regardless of what novel you have written in your conversational speech. The answer lies in the opportunity. This latest conversational masterpiece and/or self-published disaster came into existence through an opportunity to have a conversation. Rather than looking at the end product, maybe we should think about the worth in the opportunity of invention and discovery. I am not denying that some conversations are more worth while than others, some are mundane and draining, good and bad, but I’d like to throw a stick in the spokes and stop the bike of “reward thinking”. It is worth while to debate, question and be curious toward even the most “unworthy” topics of choice. We may not even satisfy our own needs, but be there for another to talk with. A shoulder to cry on, if you will.

Is it possible to find reward without having won a race? Yes...

ps. Just a little note of thanks. Thank you for all your comments, really interesting points of view. I also must say sorry for being on the "down low" as of late. Busy days. All the best

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  • Sep 15 2012: Any time you enjoy it. Anytime you fell like having the conversation. Anytime you want it so. The conversation ca be the destination. The mere pleasure of writing, the mere pleasure of talking. The mere inclination to write, the mere inclination to talk.
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      Sep 15 2012: hello Gabo

      in that case, would the listener have to willing, or used as a piece of paper like a writer with a pen?
      • Sep 15 2012: Listener? I thought you meant conversation, not monologue.

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          Sep 16 2012: I did indeed mean conversation, not monologue. So I guess then, how do we define conversation? Do all members have to be willing to talk and listen? Do all parties have to participate?

          By your definition Gabo, a conversation is worth while any time "you" enjoy it. Any time "you" want it, etc. Therefore, would it be fair to say that this is a monologue if we define a conversation as all members have to willing to also participate?

          interesting point... never thought of that

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