The Art of Conversation

Russell Simmons and I chat


I have heard it said on more than one occasion, that there is an ART to conversation.  I find elements of undeniable truth in that; but I must take it a step further.  The most valuable skill rests in the ability to communicate effectively!  There are so many gifted people on the planet, with ideas, thoughts, beliefs and theories and we have the humbling charge (if we are to be gracious human beings) to hear and await the opportunity to be heard.  As I sat with one spirit in the form of Russell Simmons just 24 hours ago; that notion presented itself once again.  Seemingly, never at a loss for words, Mr. Simmons, shared his thoughts freely on a range of topics.  There was never really a beginning or end, just an endless stream of consciousness, that ebbed and flowed, refusing to succumb to any form of “dam” or local tributary.  I was fascinated yet not surprised as I shared space with him many years ago while we were both tapped as commentators for a BET News special.  Uncle Rush. aka, Uncle Russell; has opinions and ideas like anyone else, the difference, his acumen has afforded him multiple platforms to voice those thoughts.  While these opportunities can present differing thoughts about how [he] communicates, that never factored in our encounter.  I love “thinking’ people, it matters not that I agree or disagree with their “thoughts”, I am simply moved by those who choose to consciously exercise one of the strongest, least used parts of their bodies, THE BRAIN.  It houses the remedies to social, spiritual, emotional, financial, and  familial, challenges and yet it is so under used, that when we bare witness to one actively stretching and pulling at its cortex, we form definite opinions about the person carrying it [the brain] around on their person.  So, is there really and ART to conversation, maybe, yet I lift up another idea.  Balanced and healthy communication is the launching pad for the ART of Conversation.  Respecting another’s ideas, thoughts and style of communicating, can lend itself to the ART.  The best ART is shared in a safe environment, where judgment has no jurisdiction. and difference is celebrated, not castigated.  So Mr. Simmons and I began the dance, listening and being heard, and while some of the steps were new the music of the dance was uninterrupted and that is what made our time Artistic!  I am looking forward to many more steps as I fill my dance card; and I will share all the new MOVES I learn along the way!



MESHELLE “The Indie-Mom of Comedy”