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 16 2012: Don you know all about difficult conversations. Been posting on another conversation, now closed, about something really important. Very worried about situation in Middle East (actually live U.K, at the moment). Still remember 'duck and cover' T.V. ads from 1970s about what to do if Nuclear war broke out between U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. Very worried about the weather. Got accused of p. word meaning trying to force own ideas on someone else using rhetoric. Look on my profile (now updated) and tell me where I am making mistakes. Already said don't like 2000 character limit because sometimes complex ideas need more space. Plus said difficult to convey emotions unless really good at grammar and am sloppy with punctuation. Plus vocabulary changing. Did you know to troll means 'be nasty' can only reference troll under bridge in children's nursery tale. Don, realise ultimately, whatever will be will be but would really appreciate some guidance about this cos do still want to talk via TED.
      • Jon Ho

        • +1
        Sep 17 2012: """don't like 2000 character limit because sometimes complex ideas need more space""""

        Fascinating. Did you know one of the most complex ideas in the world is summed up in 5 characters?


        Nothing gets more complex that that. ;)
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          Sep 17 2012: Thought of own recently C=EIIR2=C. Suggest in this instance C is creative conversation, EiiR2 is active, energetic debate between two people and other C is community environment, which in this case is TED. Learning icons so:D. Thanks :). Love to chat to like minded souls.
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      Sep 16 2012: Hello Don.

      "So in a general sense the answer is, when the transactions are completed and meet everyone's individual needs." Just like to confirm that your belief is when ALL participants in the conversation needs are satisfied? It's just you also said we may need to tell each other things, in your example, telling each other we are "ok" or "not ok". In this case, would you consider the conversation beneficial if less than all the participants satisfied this need?

      best to you, too!

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