This I Believe

Abby - Vadnais Heights, Minnesota
Entered on May 8, 2006

I believe in the power of conversation. I believe that through conversation, we, as humans, can connect and grow together in relationships that are vital to happiness in life. Relationships themselves are a very important part of human life; in fact, they are a part of all animal life. It is in our genes to connect and develop relationships, and when alone and isolated, we often wilt like flowers deprived of water on a hot summer’s day.

My family has gone through a lot together, from numerous car trips to my dad’s hometown in Southern Minnesota, to my grandmother’s death. I think it’s easy to say that all families go through things together, and not all of them survive. I know plenty of people who live with their parents and siblings, coming in contact with them numerous times a day, and who have absolutely no relationship with any of them. What I believe sets my family apart, is that we converse, even when we don’t want to.

I have always believed that fighting is a healthy part of a relationship. If you do not voice your anger when it exists, it will build up within you, eventually either exploding, or burning a hole through your very heart. It is through expression of feelings and beliefs that we understand why we believe and feel what we do. Without this conversation, something small can easily escalate into something huge and incurable. Married couples fight because they live together so closely together, they need to converse to understand each other. If she never yelled at him for leaving his clothes on the floor, he would never know why she was annoyed with him. If she lives in silence and he lives in misunderstanding for a long period of time, the problem eventually can become bigger, such as “Why don’t you ever tell me why you’re mad at me?” And these kinds of arguments are often the arguments that kill relationships.

It is the fear of confrontation that often prevents us from conversing. We fear that the other person will think less of us; we fear that they won’t understand us; we fear that they will begin yelling at us. But if we never overcome that fear, we never understand each other, we never grow in relationships, and we become so silent that our voices no longer exist. When you are silent, you are submissive to the idea that what you believe isn’t important, or isn’t worth hearing. It is this kind of belief that leads to unhappiness, self-hatred, and feelings of invalidity.

Only through discussion can we truly become who we are, growing in relationships that would otherwise die, and becoming confident in our beliefs and ourselves. And that, my friends, is why I believe in the power of conversation.