Here are my 10 current favorite ideas on the value of conversation:
I attribute the little I know to my not having been ashamed to ask for information, and to my rule of conversing with all descriptions of men on those topics that form their own peculiar professions and pursuits.
In my opinion, the most fruitful and natural play of the mind is in conversation. I find it sweeter than any other action in life; and if I were forced to choose, I think I would rather lose my sight than my hearing and voice.
Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
A single conversation across the table with a wise man is worth a month’s study of books.
More knowledge may be gained of a man’s real character by a short conversation with one of his servants than from a formal and studied narrative, begun with his pedigree and ended with his funeral.
Conversation is a meeting of minds with different memories and habits. When minds meet, they don’t just exchange facts: they transform them, reshape them, draw different implications from them, engage in new trains of thought. Conversation doesn’t just reshuffle the cards: it creates new cards.
“It was impossible to get a conversation going; everybody was talking too much.”
“There is no such thing as a worthless conversation, provided you know what to listen for. And questions are the breath of life for a conversation.”
To garden, you open your personal space to admit a few, a great many, or thousands of plants which exude charm, pleasure, beauty, oxygen, conversation, friendship, confidence, and other rewards should you succeed in meeting their basic needs. This is why people garden. It can be easy but challenging, and the rewards are priceless.
“Conversation is an art in which a man has all mankind for his competitors, for it is that which all are practicing every day while they live”
“The true spirit of conversation consists in building on another man’s observation, not overturning it”