As a guy, I grew up going to the barbershop every week with my dad. Sometimes he would go first and sometimes I would. We sometimes had to wait, but in a small town of 200, the wait would be one guy at the most. The barbershop was in the basement of the Seibert Hotel with two pool tables located in the next room. Talk centered on the next football game, or the one that was just played. Mind you back in those days, there was no TV, football, baseball, nor basketball games to talk about. It was all local topics that were falling on the ears as the hair was being cut off. Below is the Seibert Hotel where my first locks of hair were cut.
Fast forward to the 21st Century to 2017 and I’m in the chair once more having my hair cut in a salon. Not a barbershop, but a salon. I know there are barber shops that I could go to, but I was going to one of those and my barber left, so Nadine suggested I come to her stylist for a haircut and have gone ever since. I was in the salon with all women stylists and all women clients. The topics for the day were much different from my barbershop experience. One woman was talking about having her hair cut 6 inches a year ago and when she looked at the mirror, she began to cry. In fact she cried the whole night because she was so upset.
The topic turned to the TV show The Bachelor and everyone began to participate.
“Vanessa is the worst choice for Nick. She is a controller and will control that relationship.”
“Nick and Vanessa will not last as she is too insecure and doesn’t trust Nick.”
“Nick should have chosen Raven. She is so nice and beautiful and Nick missed out in not choosing her.”
“I don’t think Vanessa is going to be able to move from Canada as she is so tied to her family and her job.”
Comments of the show kept coming and it seemed like everyone was personally invested in what was happening between Nick and Vanessa. The topics were different in the salon from the barbershop that I grew up in, but there was a common thread of both of them. Neither topic ultimately had any significance to how those topics could positively impact our lives. Sports games today will be meaningless a year from now. Nick and Vanessa and their choices will have no impact in how we live our lives. These conversations are means for building bridges of commonality with others, but these topics will never take us to the most meaningful topics that truly change our lives and the lives of others.
On this journey we choose what we think about and what we talk about with others we pass on this road. Our conversations and the topics we choose can truly open the door for transforming interactions. Choose your topics carefully.