Conversations throughout my day vary  in topic, in relativity to life, in seriousness.  I can talk to some people without even thinking. No problem.  We stay in the shallow end of the pool, bantering back and forth about the weather, latest movie, new socks, and what’s best to eat at McDonald’s.  We stay in the shallow end for a few reasons.  For one, we don’t know each other and two, have no intention of getting to know each other on an more intimate level.  The water comes up to our belly buttons and we are comfortable.  Of course, in the shallow end of the pool, bodily functions are brought up more in the course of conversation.  The default to every shallow conversation centers around something we all have in common-bodies. You are more likely to encounter pee/poop on this side naturally.

I like to swim to the deep end though consistently.  The shallow end gets boring after awhile.  It is usually from this side of the pool that I yell out to those standing around the edges, not wanting to get wet with human interaction, I yell, “Come on in! The water is fine!”  They look up from their books, up from their phones, up from their boredom.  They look up and say, “Nah, we’re  fine, just got dry anyways”.  About this time, I’m getting tired of treading in such deep waters and swim back to the shallow.  Back to conversations about bodily functions, where I want to shop, the latest on Brangelina and The Bachelor.  Away from conversations about ethics, politics, world hunger, sex trafficking, church government, sin, grace, and moral ambiguity.  I don’t like wading the kiddy pool so much but when you are only 5’1″, hanging in the deep end isn’t the most comfortable.

Back and forth, back and forth.  Inviting those in the shallow end to try out the deep end and inviting those who stay in the deep end,  to try out the shallow end occasionally.  The deep end people have, on average, facial expressions that are constricted and stern.  They take their philosophizing very seriously.  World hunger is serious stuff and it won’t get solved by staying the shallow end of the pool.  Worry lines are grated into their foreheads like roads going straight to the top.  The shallow end people are more fun honestly.  Their foreheads just have sun screen on them as they splash each other.  They giggle about things that don’t matter, they wink and jab.  Their conversations are just as lively, just as necessary, just as interesting.  Are they making world-class changes to the planet?  Nah.  Will they live longer because they laugh more?  Perhaps but then again, perhaps not.

Can you enjoy life by just staying in one side of the pool?  Can you grow and stay shallow?  Can you stay young and be deep all the time?  Can the profound be found in the mouths of children?  Are there simply stupid people in the deep end?

There is just one way to find out.

Swim back and forth, back and forth-engaging both ends of the pool.

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