I was recently having a conversation with two of my neighbors on issues surrounding energy use, efficiency, conservation, alternatives, etc., as well as the state of commercial agriculture, organic farming, and the like. We discussed some recent articles and videos I had seen on the issue and we had a nice open discussion and sharing of information.

I followed up with another article this morning and the reply I got was: ‘Thanks – keep making us think.’

This really hit me and I felt like sharing my reaction. So many of the changes the world needs can begin to be solved by everyday people having conversations like this on the big challenges that humanity is facing. It’s about being mindful first and foremost, and then sharing our thoughts and feelings with those around us.

When we share with others, we often legitimize our own thoughts to ourselves, but also we spark thinking in others that might not have come about otherwise.  This doesn’t mean that we will always agree with each other, but in the conversation we propel the dialogue further and uncover insights that we can’t imagine when we are trapped in our heads.

This brought up a quote from Theoretical Physicist and Cosmologist, Stephen Hawking.  I originally heard it in the Pink Floyd song Keep Talking (click here to listen), and I have always found it to be especially inspiring:

Stephen Hawking“For millions of years, mankind lived just like the animals.

Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination.

We learned to talk and we learned to listen.

Speech has allowed the communication of ideas, enabling human beings to work together to build the impossible.

Mankind’s greatest achievements have come about by talking, and its greatest failures by not talking.

It doesn’t have to be like this.

Our greatest hopes could become reality in the future.

With the technology at our disposal, the possibilities are unbounded.

All we need to do is make sure we keep talking.” (emphasis mine)

– Professor Stephen Hawking


I believe it’s up to each of us to keep talking, and in turn continue to make each other think.  What about you?


Photo: Wikimedia Commons