Everything starts with a Conversation...

Being a huge ambassador for Link4Growth I attend a large number of physical events every week. So what happens at these events? Conversations mostly... Conversations about a huge number of different topics. In actual fact this blog you are reading here is a record of conversations I have had with people at Link4Growth events... This is the sole purpose of this blog.

Perhaps one of the best ways to consider the importance of conversations is to compare what happens when we don't have conversations versus when we do. We are in actual fact in the middle of a very dry period in human history in the west regarding conversations. Communities which used to be quite tight knit where people often took time out to stop and talk to each other have been usurped by busy people who have no time for such trivia any more. Time is money and we need money. So something had to give and it did give. Conversations didn't happen, and when conversations stop... Then local knowledge doesn't circulate, we stop knowing who our neighbours are, we lose our place in the community and the community spirit begins to fade. We begin to edge ever closer to just looking out for ourselves and quickly slide into the
dog eat dog world... If we don't talk with people we don't know them... If we don't know them, how can we trust them? How can we introduce or develop connections when we are not engaging? Every single person has a story. Every single person has a needed talent. The vast majority of us deep down want to be loved, needed, valued, have some purpose in life, we're wired that way... We may have forgotten it but it's there, may be buried far inside somewhere. But we've stopped talking and it has meant there are a gazillion untold stories in the world,. So much talent, experience, knowledge and expertise locked away in strangers lives, and we have all but thrown away the keys... But not quite...

What if we had a national initiative to restart conversations? What if we started to talk to people around us again? What if we started to rediscover our neighbours? What might 'having conversations again' do for us?

Conversations serve so many purposes... All it takes to turn a stranger into someone you know is a 'Hello and a smile'. Without conversations we begin to drift apart from each other, doors close... The more we talk and get to know each other, the more we understand each other, the more doors open it's as simple as that. As we discover people, so we learn what skills and talents they have, what challenges they're having in their life. The more we learn and the deeper the understanding the greater our chance of signposting people to someone who can help, who could take the weight off, remove a real road block, and subsequently... Improve their life. It's rare that the person we're having a conversation with needs our own particular talent directly, it does happen, but its not the important bit. When we start up a conversation the first part is to establish a connection, there is always something we have in common we just need to be a detective to find it. Once we've established the connection, conversations become easy and they open up to create this pathway to discovery and finding ways we can assist in helping each other forward...

To change our communities from rather cold and sterile places, with security cameras on each corner, people hiding behind locked doors frightened to go out, fearful of those around them... We must change. This new style of 'community' doesn't float my boat... Does it float yours? ... Or would you welcome an era where neighbours talk to each other, look out for one another and the kids, doors are left open, people feel safe because the community is a living breathing collaborative organism... And yet this notion now seems almost bizarrely naive and in the realms of fantasy. We had this once, but now through the conditioning of the money people and material world we have all but killed it... But not quite yet... We still can revive 'proper community' ... If we work together...

OK... So what will it take?

It takes a change in our attitude to start. We must adopt some old ways... start to give and trust people again... Then, if they abuse the trust, adjust, forgive and trust again... We must adopt an attitude that everyone has value, everyone can make a contribution... We must create a situation where everyone is able to participate, everyone is respected, everyone is entitled to a voice and be heard...and when we have 'got this' ... Then we need to bring the community together, all the community, totally inclusive... No one is excluded... And to do this it must be at almost no cost, no barriers that could prevent people from participating...

And when we do this, we meet, we talk, we listen, we learn and we connect. Every person has a tale to tell, every homeless person has a heart rending story... We are all unique because everyone of us has been forged by our own unique journey. The future belongs to story telling. Through storytelling we will get to know those around us, through storytelling we can understand each other more than ever before, through storytelling we will know who we can connect to whom... Through storytelling we can start the process of rebuilding community.

So how do we do this? How can we get cracking? ... more importantly if you agree with the above how can you participate? We start rebuilding community by holding local free events in towns, cities and villages to bring people together and start talking. We've made a great beginning, but in all honesty we've only just started! This needs to be available to everyone in towns cities and villages the length and breadth of the country... In this way we begin to rebuild community from the grass roots up by enabling everyone to be part of it and initiate people talking and having conversations again; with no agenda except to discover each other... We start connecting people who have solutions to other people who have challenges. People from every walk of life, charity, social, education, health, spiritual and in business... And we can do it fast... It is an unstoppable tide... This we call #Link4Growth ... Grow personally, grow our communities, grow our organisations and business, grow our country.

The only question that remains is... would you like to be part of making it happen?

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