Life according to Brad... not! II

This is a continuation of the last post, about relating in the social space.

What are the ‘important things’ anyway?

Brad liked discussing philosophy, theology, politics, history and of course his bike trip. He put a high value on ideas, facts, theories and the things he had done. He dismissed topics of conversation like clothes, food, weather, sport, children or birthday presents. To him they had no value, or even a negative value.

But food, clothes, weather, children, parties and sport are all given to us by God. To treat them as worthless and pointless is devaluing the life that God has given us. So no, small talk is not worthless, for the reason that all parts of life are important.

In some situations, Brad’s attitude of “Skip the small talk, get to the point” may be a reasonable thing to say. But it is only if getting information or a doing a task what counts at the time, and if you are with people who are doing the same task and have the same attitude.

Police TV dramas typically show terse police officers focusing intently on solving their case. Their conversations are short and to the point because they are all involved in their task.

The fact is, however, that in the real world, there would definitely be some hurt feelings if we spoke like this to each other all the time – even when we’re at work. People are emotionally involved with each other. We could be at work, in the bank, in the library... anywhere.

If it’s a social space, the appropriate way we establish, maintain, monitor relationships is through talking, and especially through using small talk.