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There’s nothing like sharing insights with a friend. So why is it so difficult?

There’s nothing like sharing insights with a friend. So why is it so difficult?

“One must always tell what one sees.”
Charles Peguy

So many great conversations never happen. There is nothing like sharing insights with a friend into things that matter, and even things that don’t matter so much. But why is it so difficult?

One of the great paradoxes of our day is that with seemingly limitless outlets for ‘sharing’ thoughts, so little deep sharing actually happens. We are often stifled, cut off, and isolated. In the cacophony of words, it is difficult to say the things we want to say. We are beginning to realize that the tools billed as making connections have in fact undermined them, with devastating consequences even in our close relationships.

“Tell what one sees.” Peguy’s statement might seem a warning against mendacity. It certainly includes that. For, given the beauty of what we see, how could we willingly speak falsehood? The truth is always better.

But speaking falsehood is not the only alternative to ‘telling what one sees.’ One could simply not tell. Perhaps the main reason is that we don’t have a context to do so. We need friends of a certain kind, and habits of conversation with them.

This provides an amazing angle into the place of friendship in human life. Having someone to tell. This is the heart of true friendship, as well as a flourishing marriage: here we are drawn to tell what we see. And our vision becomes keener. We have more reason to see, from the incomparable joy of sharing and so seeing together.

If we have no such reliable context for telling what we see, our vision actually grows dull. Why bother straining to see the deeper things? We turn to focus on what demands attention rather than what inspires contemplation. So we get by, and our life is very different from what it could be.

Peguy is right: one must tell what one sees. Today, this calls for prioritizing friendship and the contexts that conduce to real sharing, and real presence. To see by oneself is scarcely to see. Seeing and sharing, seeing together, is to come alive. One of those oh-so-simple things of immeasurable value, always in our power, if we but choose and cultivate it. ~ ~ ~

Today’s LifeCraft VIDEO: How to Balance My Needs and My Family’s Needs…

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John Cuddeback

Husband, father, and professor of Philosophy. LifeCraft springs from one conviction: there is an ancient wisdom about how to live the good life in our homes, with our families; and it is worth our time to hearken to it. Let’s rediscover it together. Learn more.

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