Small talk isn’t small at all. It is the lifeblood of our connection to each other. We all want to feel as if we are connected – part of the group. The questions and comments fulfill that purpose. We need each other to feel whole. A 25 year old nurse said to me this week, “You stay involved. That is important. I hope I will be as healthy when I reach your age as you are.”  I just completed a political survey from Winthrop University. The young questioner asked, “Some people do not pay attention to national events at all. How often do you keep up with national or political events?” I answered, “Daily.”

“How have you been? Did you watch the game yesterday? Have you seen Bob recently? Did you know that Jane is in the hospital? I see that you are driving a new car.” None of these questions or statements have any earth shaking significance, but all of them are important. They tie us together. We are linked in a larger circle. Small talk is not a waste of time. Sometimes we struggle with it. Sometimes we tell ourselves that we should be doing something else. Sometimes we don’t listen to the answers because we are thinking about something we feel is more important at the time.

You matter to me and I hope I matter to you even if I don’t not have a breakthrough solution for any of the world’s problems. Later today a friend will call me about lunch tomorrow. Even later my sister will call. We don’t have anything new to talk about, but it will take about 30 minutes for us to say it. I look forward to her call. I miss it when it doesn’t come. Tonight I will talk to my out-of-town daughter. What a blessing.

It is all small talk. Speak to people when you have the opportunity. You may be their only contact today. Don’t miss the opportunity. You would be amazed at what a difference a friendly hello can make.

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