On The World as Your Oyster
(Disclaimer: I actually combined two posts into one for this. Not too sure how I feel about it as there was much to be said, but I suppose that will have to wait until my writing gets better and for future blog posts. I'm hoping to do as much writing this year as possible so I can get back to where I want to be with my words.)
This holiday season was pretty random. I woke up on Christmas Eve after a long week of deliberation, and finally decided that I would drive home. I spent the eve on the road and in parking lots reading the three musketeers as my 25th birthday began. I never intended to stay in angleton another two days. Nor did I plan on driving straight to San Antonio for another two days for some quality time with my sister. I was excited to find by the end of the week that I had participated in a lot of good conversation.
I spoke with a friend I hadn't seen since high school about spiritual darkness, evangelism, film making, creativity, and other various topics.
I heard stories of my best friend's time in training for the U.S. Army, and finally got to meet his son.
My brother-in-law and I shared opinions on the bible, spiritual gifts, and church backgrounds until about two in the morning.
Conversation - I've learned time and again - is where I thrive. I could spend days in a room or coffee shop, immersed with my own thoughts, contemplating various things about life, but I find that most of it will mean nothing unless I can share these thoughts with someone. Conversation is why God created other human beings, because being alone with our thoughts can only go so far. I'm not saying that God didn't have some amazing conversation with Adam as they walked through the garden of eden, but how can you share discovery with the creator himself? Life is meant to be a journey with one another as we struggle together through uncharted territory, and I think God understood that when he made Eve.
The past year I've been trying to open the door for more and more conversation with individuals. I want to hear what people have to say on certain topics. I want to discover more about a person as they tell their story. I want to give them a hint of what goes on within my mind and to witness their response. Most of all I want to connect with individuals as we continue to inspire one another with our journey through life.
Cause what's a journey if you don't sometimes encounter someone to relate to them what you've seen, heard, or did - to learn from - to challenge - to encourage.
I recently failed two classes this past semester of college. It was mostly from my lack of doing any work while outside of class; which I fully accept the consequences for. While I was in class, however, I learned a whole lot, and I loved every second that I could gather information. Years back I had an argument with a co-worker about the importance of college. He seemed to believe that college/university was a necessary part of life if one ever intended on moving forward or being educated; and I wholeheartedly disagree.
It's not that I don't value the importance of college. I see it for what it's worth. I just don't think it should be labeled as necessary.
College succeeds in one area for those who are striving. In my opinion the best thing college does is force the student to think. Without college some people would never think to ask questions, or be challenged to seek out the answers. University was intended to focus these thought processes into majors, to spur on the conversation long enough for the student to end up with sufficient knowledge, and to reward that effort with a degree in that field.
But what if you were to do this on your own? What if you could ask questions of yourself and others? To seek out the answers and to strive to gather as much information as you could on the subject?
Is this not what the ancient Greek philosophers began to do amongst themselves?
They would think, test, write, and discuss. It was a cycle that kept evolving as they continually challenged themselves and opened up conversations with one another about the possibilities the world had to offer. To them the world was a classroom, and they were each others teachers.
I do believe students forget this at times. They get so caught up in their studies with school and the menial amount of work it requires, and they forget to learn from life itself. They never have time enough to sit down with their own thoughts, discover their own knowledge of the subjects they are pursuing, or even to listen to what is going on around them. Or when they do have time they spend it on facebook.
What could we do though if we spent more time in conversation?
Not just any conversation, but deep meaningful conversation.
I'm not suggesting we give up college. In this day and age it is important to have a system that forces young people to think and to learn. I'm only suggesting we take more time to think for ourselves. To challenge one another with these thoughts and to present them to those around us. To listen to the opinions of others and to gather information to further our knowledge from those said opinions, theories, or even truths.
Even better, I'm suggesting that we share our lives with each other. That we laugh together. We become vulnerable. We express our failures as much as we express our successes. We learn to accept each other wholeheartedly with each of our flaws. I vote that we conversate with as many people as possible this new year. That we share our passions, knowledge, and love with one another in order to balance out the stress that is university or career.
Let conversation drive you into deeper understanding.
Let it bring you closer to one another.
Let it push you further along your journey.
Let it fill your hearts and minds at once.