Today, our capacity for conversing may be deemed to be rapidly diminishing.
In the present era, the prevailing method for numerous individuals to congregate entails partaking in communal repasts, indulging in libations, watching television collectively, or engaging in group singing at a karaoke establishment. These forms of socialization share a commonality—they do not necessitate engaging in conversation with others.
Discussions of business affairs occur during dinner parties, while acquaintances may exchange sentiments and gossip in coffeehouses. In the context of social gatherings, conversing lacks a specific purpose, and a considerable amount of time is squandered conversing with complete strangers. Inquiring about the origin of the interlocutor and delving into topics such as their place of birth, customs, gastronomy, attractions, and curiosities ensues. Regrettably, it is not uncommon for us to encounter individuals with similar backgrounds and experiences, resulting in a superficial acquaintance with their hometowns that lacks historical depth and narratives. Consequently, sustaining a meaningful conversation becomes an arduous endeavor.
Upon comparing the two circumstances, it becomes apparent that our disparities primarily arise from our cultural inclinations—a cultivation of a rich cultural existence.
In my perception, what exactly is culture? Culture is not overwhelmingly grand, nor is it exceedingly scarce or elusive. Culture, in the realm of life, constitutes an endeavor that we may experience and relish without any ulterior motive, and we derive pleasure from utilizing it as a medium for discourse and communal sharing.
Culture is not something one engages in for the sake of an objective; rather, culture itself embodies the purpose. We visit concert halls in order to derive enjoyment from the auditory pleasure of music, and we frequent art museums to revel in the visual experiences that art evokes.
Culture serves as the most captivating subject matter for communal exchange. Firstly, culture relies on genuine emotions, fostering a mutual exchange of sentiments. Secondly, culture is imbued with movement and enjoyment, thus evading disputes and conflicts. Thirdly, culture encompasses layers of profound content that can be explored and engaged with, engendering an enduring interest to sustain conversations.
The inability to engage in meaningful conversations between individuals is partially attributable to the dearth of cultural vitality. In our society, when one broaches the subjects of books, concerts, or art exhibitions with a stranger, who truly exhibits genuine interest?
Consequently, many of us resort to contriving various methods to superficially bring unfamiliar individuals together, without actually engaging in authentic communication. However, if this façade cannot be upheld, it often becomes “fraught” when genuine conversation is desired.
Unintentionally, the discourse veers towards the privacy of others—probing into their marital status, offspring, occupation, and even their remuneration. Such discussions that hover on the periphery of privacy tend to make individuals uneasy, rarely yielding any positive impact on those partaking in the conversation!
Otherwise, one is left with no alternative but to resort to exploiting others’ privacy as a conversational topic. The matrimonial affairs of a celebrity or the transgressions of a high-ranking official bear no relevance to the speaker, yet everyone feels at liberty to freely opine. The content often lacks factual basis. Over time, individuals accustomed to such discourse begin to relinquish any belief or commitment to factual accuracy.
For contemporary individuals, living in complete solitude is unfeasible; interacting with others is unavoidable. Engaging in conversations necessitates finding suitable topics. In the absence of a cultural existence, many individuals in our society are unable to employ cultural sentiments and pleasures as organic points of discussion. They must either seek means to evade genuinely meaningful conversations or rely on alternative subjects to sustain interactions.
Why does society exhibit such an abundance of gossip and rumors? Ultimately, it is intertwined with the dearth of cultural activities that provide conversational fodder in our lives!