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Listening to other people talk can be informative. It can bring new information into view and offer a new way of making decisions based on the other person’s information and point of view. Of course, their view is always wrong! Well, wrong from our point of view and thus we get into a bantering with words that is similar to playing ping-pong. Conversation bounces back and forth with each statement proving the truth of whoever’s ideas are in the air at the moment. The function of this kind of conversation isn’t to understand the truth of the other person’s position but to convince ourselves of the truth of ours.

In the Probaway theory of maturation, that form of conversation would be an adolescent attempt to prove the validity of our assertions and thus of our personal self-worth. In that theory having a conversation for the simple fun of the exchange is child’s play, and talking just to hear one’s own words in the air is the childish form of talking. An adult conversation is so structured and spoken as to help the various members of the group and their family and friends to live better and to prosper. A mature conversation would be formatted in such a way as to help the whole community and not just some particular subgroup of the community. A sage conversation is one that benefits all humanity and beyond, and it is stated in such a way that it naturally expands beyond the immediate group attending the conversation.

Our perceptions can be influenced by the maturity level we use to observe our situation and that directs how we express our world-view.

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