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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Taking Interest

Yesterday was a Day of Great Festivities for G's birthday. Friends joined us at a brewhouse for beer, food, and conversation. It was a great time.

But the part that stayed with me most is that two relatively new friends--a PhD colleague of G's and his wife--were very interested in shiatsu. They took a genuine interest in both the theory and the technique. It was so nice, so refreshing, and I was so grateful. I usually can't discuss shiatsu with anyone outside the healing arts circle; I can see the eyes glaze. So I stopped bringing it up, omitting this huge chunk of me from daily conversation, but these new friends drew it out by asking me questions.

(This was especially notable in contrast to another couple at the party, who don't care about shiatsu. They would never be so impolite to say so, but they don't ask, and they have never seemed to take much interest when I've brought it up in the past. I can tell: they think it's weird. In fact, it's sort of sad, it seems that as much as I like this couple, I have less and less in common with them.)

Anyway, the point of this post was positive: These new friends are interested in what I do! When I mentioned it to G, he noted that those two have a wide range of life experiences, have done many interesting things, and they are open-minded and curious. (Qualities I like to think I share. Qualities I do share when I'm my Better Self.) They are quirky, to be sure, and so are we. It's small wonder we had a pretty instantaneous connection.

So I got to thinking, am I able to engage a variety of people, to take interest in what they do? To find common ground? I would like that to be true, but on reflection I found that I cannot make myself interested in professional sports. I just don't care. My eyes glaze over whenever it comes up. I like to watch a good, live soccer game now and again--Lots of action! Cute players!--but I don't follow a team. I wish I did care, as so many people take an interest in sports, and it really brings people together. Can you make yourself care about something?

...But you know, another friend was there last night who manages sports teams, and even though I'm not a "sports person", we've had great discussions about sports, the culture around teams, the rituals, the philosophy. And he and his wife also take an interest in what I do--especially the lady, as she is a psychotherapist, so we have much in common, if different approaches.

Philosophers. I want to be surrounded by philosophers. That's why I love you, my blog friends. You're philosophers.


Blogger Narya said...

Hey, I even have an undergraduate degree in philosophy to prove it! (Though I'd like to think I got the degree because I'm a philosopher, not that I'm a philosopher because I have a degree.)

I'd have a lot more to contribute to this (quite interesting) conversation if I weren't trying to get my act together to maybe get in the front row tonight. Part of me thinks I'm too . . . something to be putting this much effort into it--the concert doesn't start for, oh, 8 hours, but I'll have to get out of here relatively soon if I'm going to implement this plan--but the other part of me would love to be leaning on the stage to watch the show tonight. You know?

12:07 PM  
Blogger kStyle said...

My undergrad is in Classical Civ--and I focused on Greek philosophy.

Have a lot of fun, hope you get your front row. Would love to hear your thoughts when you have a chance.

6:26 PM  

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