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TRIBEWORK is about consuming the process of life, the journey, together.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Finishing Important Conversations

A FATHER ONCE initiated an important conversation with his daughter. It didn’t involve any of the major life issues—like who or when to marry or not marry—but it was a talk he planned to have with her at some opportune point...

He started the chat; then it was interrupted—due to no fault of his or hers.

The sad thing was neither he nor the daughter remembered to finish it. Later, the situation highlighted by the subject of conversation actually occurred. The daughter didn’t have the benefit of knowing that she had her father’s blessing until after he died; when the will was read. That knowledge could have changed things. It might have made things easier.


There are clearly times when we don’t finish the conversations we ought to. The circumstances change, we or they have to rush off, or the inspiration that flew from the moment returns later on. It’s important that conversations are finished; that desirable outcomes are reached.

The Bond of Brevity

Many people insist—and even the law requires—that agreements be written. But, whether we like it or not, our word is still most often the strength of our bond.

Real people speak in real ways, and when trust enters the equation what was said will certainly be believed.

And even though it is the human trait to doubt what we’ve heard, the logical mind will still hold on to what it heard despite feelings to the contrary.

What needs to be said may only need to be said once, with total sincerity. This is the best way to finish a conversation, recapping the important points; those we want retained historically—the most memorable.

An important reflection

If we are spiritual there’s probably a place for reflection in our lives.

A good prompt for reflection is this question: Have I continued/finished my important conversations?

An equally important question is: Have I given the people close to me enough room to continue/finish their conversations with me?

The sad truth is memory problems, lack of opportunity, fear, complacency and many other reasons get in the way of us finishing important threads of thought with people.

It’s not like we plan to leave things as they are; yet, so many times they remain that way.


Back to our father and daughter scenario:

Neither of them remembered to complete the discussion the father had initiated. This was a pity, for if the daughter had known what her father’s thoughts were it would have helped her with a particular life situation that she had now confronted.

Things said or left undone despoil life. The great gift of reflection is that we contemplate what’s been said or left undone and we can amend it—while we have the opportunity. Better to do it now, as it mindfully presents, than leave it to later.


There are some that may read this and, with regret, rue a missed opportunity. At this, we must forgive ourselves—there are no perfect relationships or lives without mistake. Let us, instead, use this as learning to propel us to do what we can do, now, today.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

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