Must we always talk for victory, and never once for truth, for comfort and joy?
Ralph Waldo Emerson
A Happy and Healthy New Year to you all! May this be a year filled with Curiosity, Creativity and Constructive Conversation.
The words of Samuel Johnson, an English poet, playwright, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer and lexicographer, are particularly relevant today just as they were when he wrote them well over two hundred years ago: “That is the happiest conversation where there is no competition, no vanity, but a quiet interchange of sentiments.” I would also like to add that the most courageous of conversations are those in which we are willing to suspend judgment, listen to the ideas and questions of others without simply having a desire to score points.
Conversations are about listening, learning, helping and building. They derive from a wonderful potential part of humankind – the ability to perceive the similarities, commonalities and differences between the way people think, and also by being sensitive to the nuances of the communications in progress, the words said and what was unsaid.
2020 has arrived for me together with my latest book, A Fantasist & A Scientist In Conversation. Over the past year, I have collaborated on this work with co-author, palaeobotanist, Professor John M. Anderson. Together we have enjoyed transcending the perceived boundaries between the Arts and the Sciences and have celebrated the commonalities and differences we discovered in our ideas and our disciplines.
John’s work is centered around the destructive effects of human activity on our planet and I continue to explore the subject of independent and creative thinking through my writing of books, fiction, poetry and non-fiction as well as my blogs. Creativity versus destructivity is an underlying theme in my fantasy book, THE WORLD OF GLIMPSE, and in most of my writing. Both my and John’s different pursuits are the subjects within our joint book: A FANTASIST & A SCIENTIST IN CONVERSATION. There are idiosyncrasies and confluences in our way of thinking that I find fascinating. And I find John fascinating, too. He is an individual with a remarkable, ongoing commitment to preserving the precious and glorious biodiversity of our planet for our children – and for all the species and ecosystems with whom we coexist.
How wonderful it is that because of technology, John and I have had an ongoing communication across hemispheres (North and South). Today, so many of us are fortunate enough to have an ability to communicate with each other, even over vast distances and in so many different forms! John and my collaboration has been largely centered around preserving the natural habitat of our precious Earth, the kind of local and global conversations which are occurring in many different forms. Listening to each other and seeking commonalities are essential elements for creating world peace and for preserving the biodiversity of our glorious planet: OUR EARTH: OUR CHOICE