About Conversation Kindling

The purpose of this blog is to share stories, metaphors, quotes, songs, humor, etc. in hopes they'll be used to spark authentic and rewarding conversations about working and living fruitfully. There are at least three things you can gain by getting involved in these conversations. First, you'll discover new and important things about yourself through the process of thinking out loud. Second, you'll deepen your relationships with others who participate by swapping thoughts, feelings, and stories with them. Finally, you'll learn that robust dialogue centered on stories and experiences is the best way to build new knowledge and generate innovative answers to the questions that both life and work ask.

I write another blog called My Spare Brain. This is where I am "storing" ideas for use in future books, articles, blog posts, speeches, and workshops. There is little rhyme or reason for what I post there. I do this to encourage visitors to come as treasure hunters looking for new ways of seeing and thinking vs. researchers looking for new or better answers to questions they already know how to ask.

21 March 2014

We're Here to Fart Around

Author Kurt Vonnegut was a contrarian of the first order and a no-holds-barred commentator on the follies and foibles of humankind. And, while he could be sarcastic and dark, Vonnegut often used humor to communicate his views on the basic questions life. This is shown by a story he told David Brancaccio of PBS during an interview for NOW. The date was October 7, 2005.
"I told my wife I'm going out to buy an envelope. 'Oh,' she says. 'Well, you're not a poor man. You know, why don't you go online and buy a hundred envelopes and put them in the closet?' And so I pretend not to hear her. And go out to get an envelope because I'm going to have a hell of a good time in the process of buying one envelope. I meet a lot of people. And, see some great looking babes. And a fire engine goes by. And I give them the thumbs up. And, I ask a woman what kind of dog that is. And, I don't know. The moral of the story is we're here on Earth to fart around. And, of course, the computers will do us out of that. And, what the computer people don't realize, or they don't care, is we're dancing animals. You know, we love to move around. And, we're not supposed to dance at all anymore."
This a fast-paced, dog-eat-dog, 24/7 world. There is little or no time to fart around. But, should we make the time? There at least two reasons for doing so. First, to reduce stress. Second, to clear our minds so that new thoughts and ideas can make their way in.

  • What is Vonnegut's story about for you?
  • How does it intersect with your life at this time?
  • When is the last time you farted around? What did you do? How was it worthwhile, or a waste of time?
  • If you think that farting around once in awhile is a good idea, how will you make the time do it?
  • If you think you do too much of it already, how will you stop?
"Remember the scene in Cat Ballou where a very drunk Lee Marvin goes from unconscious to ranting to triumphant to roaring to weeping defeat and then finally passes out? One of the men watching him says, with real awe, 'I never seen a man get through a day so fast.' Don't let this be you." - Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

No comments: