I embarked recently on a project, a couple of 830 mile long conversations, adventuring in an RV across the small roads and into the small towns across Nebraska, discovering its places and its people. Among other matters, I explored the nature of conversation and its ability for more than mere communication.
I encountered a wide-ranging array of Nebraskan voices. Many of the people I spoke with illustrated that we all have a deep desire to be heard and have our voices recognized. Being present and giving yourself completely to someone else is a remarkable gift, which perhaps explains why I found the project so rewarding personally.
Our social fabric is fraying in places, whether those places are geographic defined or at the intersections of our cultural, social, spiritual and political lives. Despite that, however, we cannot avoid these intrinsic elements of the human condition: to belong, to connect, to be part of something meaningful.
a couple of 830 mile long conversations was my response to a calling. While not religious, I liken it to a pilgrimage. I believe that conversation enables us to live better and well, as individuals and communities. That belief was brought to life in this project. Conversation is an art that must be resuscitated in our modern life. Through it we can deepen relationships with ourselves and friends, as well as create rapport with those we do not know or understand.
This Thanksgiving express your gratitude through listening. Be completely present with someone.
Visit the project website for a couple of 830 mile long conversations here.
Listen to my KIOS radio broadcast on Wednesday morning at 8:45am by streaming live here or tuning in to 91.5FM
Download materials from StoryCorps here to aid your Thanksgiving listening.