i love movies. But the other day i was sitting at the table with a group of guys and we spoke about movies for an hour and a half. It was an event so i felt kinda trapped in the seat i was in at the restaurant. And my head wanted to explode, because as much as i love movies, speaking about them for an hour and a half [in which everyone was pretty much regurgitating their opinions and holding on to them so not even change or wrestling or deep thought happening about movies which may have been a little bit better] in a row at that particular point in time felt a bit wasteful to me.
Because we all left that moment with pretty much the same amount of knowledge or belief we had started with and no evident change of opinion.
And i feel like to a large extent, when you put a group of people together who don’t know each other that well [and often when they do] they conversation will typically go to movies, sport or food and perhaps combinations of the three.
FOOD FOR THE SOUL
Which is largely why i have enjoyed the Deep Dive Conversation Dinners so much. By now you probably know the vibe – invite 7 to 10 other people around for a meal around a specific theme or topic [So far we have done church, race from the perspective of ‘why do you live where you live?’ and more recently money] and spend a good four and a half hours really diving deeply into it.
One of my favourite parts is the phone basket we have at the door where everyone switches their phone off and sets it aside for the evening so that we can all be completely in the moment.
Another favourite is the food which we view as ‘the breaking of bread’ which of course has special spiritual significance as well. One of the ideas behind these dinners has been taking arguments off of Social Media and getting people face to face around a meal to see if that argument can’t be transformed into a discussion where people may still leave with different points of view, but where they will have hopefully at least have listened to each other and been open to hear someone else’s perspective on an issue and more importantly their story.
Then there is the conversation. tbV and i typically don’t start with an agenda [[in terms of where we want to end up] but we do have a plan of how to get the conversation going and it changes every time depending on the theme. With church and location we invited people by way of introduction [which took most of the evening as people got to ask questions and push back and raise concerns or ask follow up questions as stories were shared] to share a little part of their journey as far as the theme was concerned and with the money one we had some prompts such as ‘In my family money was a source of…’ and ‘The messages i received about money, success and happiness from my culture were…’
THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN
The next Deep Dive Conversation Dinner tbV and i are planning is around the question of Food. What we eat, how we eat, where we get our food from, the ethics and morality of food and more… we are hoping to do this sometime in August although it may have to happen in September as August has some weekend events coming up.
But next time around i am hoping that there might be four other dinners happening on the same night or around the same time. Not on the theme of Food particularly, but on whatever theme grabs you. The idea is to grab a topic of conversation that you would like to invite some friends and maybe even some people you don’t know as well [Hello Facebook friends] to gather around and really chew on for an evening.
i have had people in the Northern Suburbs, in Durban, and even Americaland express interest in running a dinner and i would love to help [if you in any way feel like you need it] provide some momentum and guidance for those to take place.
All i ask in return is some form of feedback to post on the blog [to share the story with others] – was it great? was it horrible? was it awkward? [it usually starts off that way a little and that’s okay] was it deeply transformative?
So IF that sounds like an experiment or a challenge that you would be up for [and let’s call it something that should happen in the next six weeks so it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t happen the same time as ours] then leave your name in the comment section [for accountability] and drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and i can share some ideas as to how we invite people, what we do on the night and tbV and i will commit to helping you with format/starting inspiration if that is something that feels like it would be helpful.
Who is in?