Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Pretty Good Conversation

I don't know if I am becoming a Starbucks Snob, but I am finding that some of my best conversations are occurring over a cup of coffee, away from the office and away from the house. My work colleagues and I, my friends and I, my kids and I, even my wife and I seem to find the freedom to build community and go deeper in conversation when we're away from the familiar surroundings that "house" us for most of the hours in the day.

I guess Roy Oldenburg had me in mind when he argued for the Third Place in his book "The Great Good Place".

It really doesn't have to be the coffee or the Starbucks (although for me it seems to be there a lot - for convenience reasons, of course: there are a couple close to where I live and work; my daughter works at one, I have a Starbucks Gold Card, etc.). It really can be anyplace where we "get away". Sometimes the car becomes that place when I'm going somewhere with my kids or my wife. Sometimes it's at a restaurant. Sometimes it's as simple as a walk.

The key seems to be (for me anyway) that I am engaging in meaningful conversation in a neutral setting that lends itself to listening, creativity and trust.

And so I drink coffee with people. But more than that, I continue down the path of friendship, relationship and love, not knowing where that path will take me, but willing to take the risk of pressing forward, while I listen, share, and grow with those I am journeying with.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

A true emerging thought :)

Brad Lewis said...

Let's go and get some coffee and have a conversation about it!

Sue M. said...

This is so true, Brad. For Bob and I, it tends to be a noisy pub-like atmosphere. Our favorite place was Barnaby's in Wheaton, sadly now gone. Many deep and meaningful conversations took place there between us and sometimes the kids as well. Not having a Starbucks Gold Card, I will continue to use the "third places" that are still available in my area.

Maybe we can meet at one of your Starbucks "third places" sometime and have coffee and conversation.

Brad Lewis said...

Significant "places" that no longer exist, except in our memories. Hmmm... sounds like a song lyric. Too bad about Barnaby's. It sounds like it was a great "third place".

You just want to meet at a Starbucks so I can flash my gold Card and save us 10% (lol)! Maybe the four of us could do that sometime.

Thanks Sue!

Joshua MIller said...

I'm digging this. breaking the mold and getting out talking...just talking is one the best things we can do as people. nice blog. and oldie but a goodie

Brad Lewis said...

Right you are Josh...Before television, the Internet, movies and Starbucks, people used to get to gather all the time just to talk. Now that's an "oldie but goodie"!