This is the story of my journey to discover what conversation is really for.
At 23, while traveling around Australia with a mate, in a Kombi, we got as far
as Perth from Melbourne and we were converted to born again, fundamental Christianity.
Two years later, while still in Perth and still with this organisation and after reading nothing else but the Bible, I began to ask this organisation’s pasters some pertanent or what they considered were impertanent questions and was asked to leave if I didn’t stop. I didn’t stop and was soon kicked out.
I then returned to Melbourne where another mate of mine discovered a long lost dispute
resolution passage in the bible and we decided to test it on this religious organisation’s head honcho, which had affiliates in Melbourne and around Australia. After physically getting thrown out of their Sunday meeting, of some 500 members, we set out to warn the rest of the members around Australia and this time went counter clockwise, heading to Sydney. After getting rid of all our worldly possessions, we set out and along the way we slept out, froze, went hungry and got arrested a number of times.
It was at this point, when we got to Sydney, that I did some thinking in Hyde Park and came up with the biggest thought of my life, that “I could be wrong” and if I could be, then it was time to go home and to stop trying to convert the heathen or so called Christians.
Upon returning to Melbourne I decided to test my theory to see if anyone else “could be wrong” and to my surprise I found most, if not all that I asked did not believe that they could be wrong on at least one thing but usually on lots.
Thus began my journey of conversation and the asking of this question, could you be wrong? Along the way I decided to ask a young woman, that I was working with, what she thought conversation was for. She thought I was mad to ask and that the question was not even worth thinking about or answering. I thought she may have been correct but I was willing to take the risk and over 20 years later I think that I may have come up with a good answer.
During this journey my mind pondered as the people I met seemed so keen to agree with everyone else (except me) during conversation, using such statements as “absolutely”, “exactly” and “your sooo right”. But at the same time there were these terms like “on the converse” or “conversley speaking” which sounded so much like conversation but meant that we came from the opposite or contrary position.
It was just two years ago that it finally dawned upon me that conversation was to convert. At first I thoght it was to convert others which I had tried to do as a Christian and then had done to me ever since I realised that I could be wrong. But once again I realised that I was wrong. That conversation was not to convert or convince others but to convert our own concepts, through other people’s feedback, into a conversion or what we call an agreement and a convergence of ideas.
This idea could change the world, I now think, but then again, I could be wrong.
Any feedback much appreciated.