Relationships that fall apart because we won’t talk about what’s happening in them.
Business difficulties that intensify – at great personal and financial cost – because we’re afraid to look directly at them and have a conversation with the other people involved.
Learning, and teaching, undermined because we’re more committed to avoiding feeling uncomfortable.
Possibilities missed and progress denied because we insisted on speed at the expense of good conversation.
Patients subjected to unpleasant and hopeless treatments because we’re terrified of talking about dying.
Connection with others missed because we’re too afraid to be open with them.
How hard it can be, and yet how essential it is, to find out that almost everything in the human world is solved by, brought about by, and made more alive by talking and listening.
It’s hard, because we all have layers of defence against encountering our own vulnerability – our capacity to be wounded by our openness to others, and to be touched by it. And it’s essential because no process, procedure, technique or tool – no turning away from one another – can ever hope to make up for this most simple, most powerful, and most life giving of human acts.