Do you have trouble thinking of meaningful questions to ask people who have recently come out of a life-changing experience like international travel or service? I know I do! Instead of resorting to safe but inane queries about adjusting to the weather and even future plans, try some riskier inquiries that make both of you take pause. In our meeting last week, the returned volunteers came up with a list of questions we'd like people to ask of us, even if it might seem overly personal or annoying because we actually have to think. I know this list was extremely helpful for me in engaging my fellow volunteers, so I thought I'd share it with the wider community. In time, perhaps I will dare to extend its use beyond people returning from profound experiences into my everyday inane conversations.
How did you experience God?
Where did you find your nourishment?
What was the hardest part?
What has changed you?
What did you learn about yourself?
What do you miss?
What were the normal things that made up your days?
How are you incorporating your experience into your life now?
What do you need now?
Who were the people that were important to you?
How are you going to use your experience to give back?
What feelings are still with you?
Note that for many of these questions, a simple tense change from past to present can make it apply to everyday living. Here's to taking our conversations to a deeper, more intrusive, and more meaningful level!
Also: shout out to the protests at the State Capitol. Today I led the Rotunda in a rousing rendition of the "Solidarity Forever" chorus. It's really an exciting demonstration of political will.