Talking about a problem is often dismissed as verily unimportant and useless. It is categorically thought to escalate the problem itself, getting diverted from the problem and contributing nothing towards the solution. Nevertheless, a problem is most often sorted out only when it is talked about. Being able to articulate a problem is the first step to solving an issue.
Today, women are using the digital medium in innumerable creative ways to discuss, deliver and debate issues from their day to day lives, social issues, the political environment, the economic forum and the cultural avenues. Each idea, thought, write-up, video or narrative generates conversations with more women joining in the talk. These conversations strategically are precursors to a larger change. Though they are a part of a small step, yet these small steps eventually pave the way for a considerable difference, which in turn becomes the ultimate aim for it has been directed by a change towards the betterment. This is what Linda Lambert implies when she says, “One good conversation can shift the direction of change forever”.
A few months ago, I was diagnosed with a huge fibroid in my uterus and the doctors at once suggested surgery – laparoscopic myomectomy as the only solution to my problem. Surgery was really scary for me. I searched for my symptoms on the internet and discovered several websites that dealt with the problems of fibroids and cysts. These not only informed me about the procedure of the surgery and the need for getting it done, but also gave me accounts of experiences of women who had underwent the surgery and were completely cured of their problem. I posted my doubts on one such website and surprisingly many women some of who had had a successful laparoscopic myomectomy themselves and even some doctors replied to my queries and having talked to them thus, I was assured that the surgery would not be a traumatic experience for me, and that it would resolve my problem. Prior to the surgery, I had a bleak if not a finite idea of the experience that I was to encounter and this certainly helped me immensely.
In a conversation amongst women that followed an article on parenting – dealing with a problem child, several mothers talked about their own experiences. Some of them were psychologists who offered wonderful new insights into the problem and suggestions that must have definitely helped many women deal better with their children when they became aggressive and difficult.
In another instance where a woman recounted her experience of getting back to work after a career break – the pros and cons of it in particular, several others joined in to narrate their own experiences and suggest ways to ease life after returning to work.
Talking about a problem encourages multiple approaches to a problem. The different viewpoints present strong arguments because they are often accounts of first-hand experiences and the individual’s own ways of dealing with the problem in question. The viewpoints may not always provide a solution, but they will certainly add to the wisdom of every individual in the group. The flow of conversations also help discover additional dimensions and aspects of a problem. Conversation initiates analytical discourse which not only simplifies the problem but also intensifies the solution.
Conversations do not merely enhance a network of like-minded people, people with similar experiences, but create a relatively more informed group of individuals. For women, conversations enlighten and empower them. Conversations are those small things that Vincent Van Gogh talks about when he says:
“Great things are not done by impulse but by a series of small things brought together”.