I don’t think people understand the power of words—the impact that words can have on a life. There are so many people in this generation that strive for complete authenticity and yearn to go “deeper” with everybody they meet. There are pictures that say things like: “Instead of asking this, ask this instead.” And on one of these lists, instead of asking somebody about their family, it says to ask about what one usually gets from the ice cream truck.
What people don’t understand is the importance of these “don’t ask this” questions. We despise small talk because we want to go deeper but we forget that the shore leads to the ocean. We forget that the mundane, every day, shallow questions are also so necessary to life.
We need to ask people how they’re doing. We need to ask about school or their job or their family. We need to talk about these things because they are a part of life and we too often forget this fact. They’re looked at like a rusted shovel that’s been sitting in the garden for years.
This is a shame.
We’re so focused on swimming out that we miss the adventures to be had as the tide comes in. We miss the seashells and the sun-warmed sand. There is so much beauty to be found upon the shore.
We need to meet people where they are—whether it be up to their chins in water, or if their toes are just covered by the thin layer that washes up.
We can’t resent the normal questions. We need to embrace them as a gateway to something beautiful.
Once you begin stepping into that water, then you’ll be ready for the waves to crash upon you.