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I will talk about the loss of shared reference points over the past 50 years.
In the past, there were many shared reference points to provide a foundation for discussion with a friend. You could talk about the performance of local sports teams and talk about the weather. You could talk about a television show both of you had watched, a radio show both of you had listened to, a book both of your were reading, a movie both of you had seen. You likely went to the same church or were part of the same religion denomination, so you could talk about your religious beliefs. You likely read the same newspaper and thus knew about and followed the same news stories about local, state, and national politics. Your families likely lived near each other, so you could talk about activities that your families did together.
Nearly all of those shared reference points have disappeared because of the Internet, globalization, and moving to suburbs or exurbs. The only shared reference points that still exist on a daily basis are sports and weather.
If you are a "normal" person who does not have a spiritual path, talking about sports and weather every day is good enough for you.
If you are on a spiritual path, you want to talk about religion, politics, television, movies, books, music, and shared activities, but you can't. Those shared reference points don't exist anymore.
So, what do you do if you are on a spiritual path and you want to have shared reference points? You have to talk about yourself, your own life story, because that is the only reference you are left with. The problem with your life story is that others may not care. So, you must care about their life stories and learn how to make every life story a shared reference point. You must learn to be a collector of stories and a map-maker of life experiences to provide the shared reference point.
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