Conversare – coming together

September 30, 2016 |  by  |  Uncategorized

In this post I touch briefly on two issues that have recently come to my attention in relation to Conversare and what underlies it. For they are about the natural human craving we have for close personal contact, how elusive this can be and steps people take to find it.

“That feeling that we’re all searching for isn’t about material wealth, about the acquisition of things. It’s about being connected with other human beings. That is the essence of humanity.”
Bill Mosher, producer of public television’s “Visionaries”

Also about how such longing to open up their lives can be experienced from participating in Conversare events – and benefits which can flow from this.

How does this sound to you?  Could it seem something you are seeking?

 1. Loneliness will be the next great moneyspinner

Isolation among young people is increasing, spawning a new industry in companionship. Soon paying for walks, dinners and dates will feel normal

Recent research suggests 18- to 34-year-olds are more likely to suffer from loneliness than those over 55. Photograph: Matthias Ritzmann/Getty Images

By Emily White

More on this can be heard at:

Paying not to be alone on Life Matters. Radio National 28 Sept 2016

Here are a couple of comments on the first item above.
20 Sep 2016 19:03

Guardian Pick
15 16

This is such an important issue, one that will increasingly impact untold millions of people – not only in the West, but across many cultures. Despite its importance, loneliness only gets a comparatively rare mention compared to ‘sexier’ talking points like romantic problems, social injustice, gentrification, etc. Collectively, we need to talk about this particular subject a lot more.

By the time Generation Z are heading towards retirement, mid-century, the market’s ultimate ‘solution’ to loneliness probably won’t even be human, but instead in the form of artificial intelligence. That isn’t just depressing, it’s a loss of an essential part of our humanity.

UnreliableWitness worthlessdollar1
20 Sep 2016 19:33

11 12

Couldn’t agree with you more. I know there’s that popular phrase “the final taboo”, but loneliness genuinely feels like it. People would rather talk about anything else. Mention loneliness and there’s uncomfortable shifting in chairs, glances away, general awkwardness. People don’t like being confronted with it because, ultimately, though we can talk about schemes to help lonely people and ideas like the one referenced in this article, the real cause of loneliness is us. Each other. People. Most people want to think they have busy, friend and family-filled social lives, and we don’t like facing up to others who might not have that. I think one of the reasons is fear of failure – I certainly feel like a failure because of my chronic loneliness.

And yes, loneliness isn’t just a phenomenon that affects the young or the old. It affects all of us. Collectively. We need to take responsibility for each other and make sure that we bring people into our lives and give them the social connection that we all want and desire and, even more importantly as many studies have shown, we actually *need* in order to stay healthy and alive.

2. Talking with strangers

Re the potential significance of connecting with strangers this see this video:

Couple of comments:

ex Virginialya month ago

im from NYC, strangers VERY rarely say hello unless their mentally ill or drunk, so you pretty much are taught to avoid too long eye contact as it often invites trouble. i was in charlotte north carolina recently & while driving down streets in their suburbs, people did wave hello to me from their yards, etc.. i notice the same thing happening in the more rural areas in european countries i have been to, like france & germany. people are more outgoing &friendly. but their cities are just like ours with too many people with too much to do, rushing by, not much eye contact & no talking to strangers. i will defend myself by saying i never refused a strangers request for help, whether its directions, to use my phone, etc..

For more insights into the potential value – and adventure – of talking with strangers – see more about the book mentioned:

When Strangers Meet: How People You Don’t Know Can Transform You (TED Books) Hardcover – September 13, 2016

And note the reviews for illuminating insights!

Taking these two issues together what about having contexts in which people who would wish to have more ‘connection richness’ in their lives can experience this?

And instead of having just fleeting exchanges with people they don’t know they can have rich, in depth and enjoyable conversations which last for half an hour or more. In a social gathering in which everybody is doing the same, in being a full participant.

Contexts in which there is no need to feel awkward about how well you can converse, for there is no need to try to impress anyone.

With the starting  points that ‘whoever is here is right people ‘ what is required of everyone present is that they give of themselves by being interested in and curious about the stranger with whom they share a meal.

To understand more of what this new kind of social gathering is, what happens in them and what previous participants have reported on their experience see here and have a look at previous posts.  Most recently about what is now under way in the Adelaide Central Market after trading hours on weekday nights.

Through doing this you may come to see that here is a beginning of highly practical ways of coming together in ways in which anyone who wishes to participate is welcome and all treat each other with respect.

And come to recognise that ‘Whenever we treat each other well good things happen’.  Just what this invariably is can often be quite surprising! <smile>

Does what you have seen and taken in here resonate with you?

Looking forward

Alan Stewart, PhD




“Whenever we treat each other well good things happen”



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