One Hour of Play = One Year of Conversation

“You can discover more about a person in one hour of play than in a year of conversation,” is a quote attributed to Plato by some, although my good friend the Quote Investigator is dubious.

For the purposes of this blog post, however, let’s leave the nitty-gritty of authorship to one side (I know, I know, another sign of the decline of civilization…) and consider instead the sentiment expressed.

Why today, particularly? Well, with Memorial Day weekend looming, many of us are looking forward to at least a bit of rest and relaxation—play, in fact. My idea is that you can also make this time informative/productive.

How? Well, perhaps you have been considering a business venture with an acquaintance or new friend. Over the past few months you have had coffee, you have met for drinks, you have ruminated over lunch….but have you gone for a run with them? Taken a bike ride? Played any game involving racquets, balls, or clubs?

If you haven’t, I suggest you do so post-haste.

Why? Well, it might be interesting to know if this is someone who feels the urge to outpace you at the expense of conversation; who enjoys placing an elbow in your abdomen on the basketball court; whose line calls are…..mysterious… any game involving a ball.

You might want to note how often it’s the fault of their shoe/the equipment/the surface you are playing on when things don’t go their way. You might consider how quick they are to compliment you on a good shot, or how pleased they are about shaking hands when the game ends in your favor.

In short, you may discover they are not a good sport: something that has the potential to lead to years of crummy conversations.

Frances Cole Jones