The Conversation by Hill Harper is EXECELLENT!
Like my lady friends would say, “Let’s get all the disclaimers out first”. Despite the fact that I think Hill Harper is attractive and intelligent and embodies some of the characters that I would love to have in a life partner, his latest book is amazing. I was going to read it during a lunch break, just like I treat all the books written on the topic of relationships, love, sex, video whores etc. I wouldn’t be caught dead claiming these types of books were in my collection. But by page 15 of this book it was evident I had to buy it. I got to page 100 and was like “are you kidding me? No way you going to buy this and return it”. And on that note, I walked half a block in the rain withdrew $20 form my bank using my Drivers License. (It is a recession so I am cutting back on spending by only walking around with cash and tokens and today of all days I was low on funds.)
Two days later I completed the book. If I didn’t have a 9-to-5 I would have finished it that day. This book is truly refreshing. To be honest I don’t want to tell you too much about the book because I encourage every African American to read it. (chuckle) I think that men and women will find it refreshing and something to think about. It truly encourages the action of the title, Conversation. The book doesn’t just talk about relationships and all that he this, she that, how to get a man type of over-rated hype it up blah. This book seeks to discuss our relationships with each other. It discusses historically our ideas about family from slavery to present, our fears and misconceptions, our upbringing, childrearing and the challenges we face today. The book is not preachy, assuming or only Hill’s understanding of the various discussions. This book is filled with stories from friends, quotes from our favorite celebrity couples, comments from ordinary people, facts from others who have written on about this, scientific data and most importantly, Hill’s personal experiences.
This book is honest. Take it from me… I am not sure if I was Hill I would have written some of his personal stories or thoughts. (chuckle) It is not only honest but it asks you to be honest. There is so much in this book that I think will inspire conversation and thoughts amongst us as a people that I almost wanted to hold a party for each chapter and buy Hill a short-set. (chuckle) Okay let me stop… seriously but here is how he got me to thinking.
Some of the things mentioned in this book, we know and the cool thing about it is that Hill knows it too so he doesn’t harper on it (No pun intended… chuckle) and neither will I. He writes this book for the intelligent reader.
I read this book, as a young lady recently divorced who is not quite sure what went wrong with the relationship. And what I find so intriguing is that in the book, occasionally Hill let’s you into his inner thoughts about why he behaves the way he does and how he knows it is not the best but does it anyway because it is the way he has already deemed it so. This makes me chuckle because don’t we all. I do it all the time. Throughout the book he mentions his relationship with this lady and he talks about how when he met her, there was this great connection. He got her number but once he left her and was on his own he started to calculate all these things in his mind about even calling or seeing her again. Whether it was worth it, is she just trying to get with him, if she was looking for someone to father her child etc. And oh boy, don’t we do it. I know I do it. I am back on the dating scene and you better believe sometimes, I think people are out to get me. Scoop me up, make me their baby-mamma, pop-out some pretty babies or just make me their side chick. None of which I am interested. Sometimes it is enough to say F-this!
A friend of mine once said, finding someone to sleep with is so much easier than doing the work to make a great connection.” And you know what? He didn’t lie. That is so true. At times you want to just say forget about it I have other things to focus on and we put more energy into those aspects of our lives, neglecting the importance of companionship and true love in your live. Shucksssss, I am doing it now! But a quote I read in this book on page 15, “Well, the truth about life is that we’re all alone, but when somebody love you, right, that experience is shared. Love is the only real connective tissue that allows you to not live and die by yourself. It gives you purpose beyond you.” Will Smith. Say what? Almost had me in tears. Romantic relationships aside, this is so true for any loving relationship, mother-daughter, sister-brother, friend to friend.
Amongst the many topics that he discusses, the running theme seems to be honesty, vulnerability and openness from both male and female. In the book, he mentions a brother Jared who says (page 115) “…we love them enough to not want to hurt them by breaking up with them but not enough to devote all of our attention to them…. It’s very hard to break up with a woman that you don’t hate!” Really Jared? You don’t say. And I will tell you from a chick who can maintain relationships with all her exs, but refuses to, it's hard to except these type of situations also. It takes a lot of strength on both sides of this situation to be honest and upfront. And Hill reminds us that it is getting even easier with technology nowadays to not ‘man-up’ to any difficult situations. Send a quick text or email… no tone delivered on my end and nor do I have to deal with your reaction immediately. For people not looking to do the work, such an easy way out. Again, I know I did last week. :/
Hill runs from nothing in this book, sex, complicated matters such as divorce, dating others with children, crossing the color lines, money, etc. His experience in chapter 14 is a must read!
“Anger is a manifestation of a deeper issue… and that, for me is based on insecurity, self-esteem and loneliness” Naomi Campbell. Was this before she attacked her assistant? (chuckle) But yes I agree… a therapist told someone I know very well it was usually a defense mechanism for fear. I will never forget that. Here is Hill’s take on fear…
“FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real”
(Note from Harper’s desk for Part 4… great idea for title pages.)
Hmm… this book left me with a lot of thoughts. For the first time in almost 2 years, I believe I can seriously consider commitment. I am making a harder effort to learn from mistakes and leave the anger behind. I made the ultimate sacrifice of all of 'me' in efforts to make my marriage work and realized I lost me in the battle to save it. Silly me, ‘myself’ is what made it work. This was so much larger than me. We never had a chance at that rate. After The Conversation I am know, now more than ever I am going to be okay as long as I stay true honest to myself. Not every guy I enjoy dating is going to be the there forever or necessarily marry. I will continue to support my mate as I do my friends and assist them reaching their full potential on their own. And most importantly be vulnerable and honest about my needs. Yup... that's tall order to fill but it is worth the wait.
If you don’t read any other pages in this book, just read the last chapter and think about how powerful a party like that would be with your friends.
Much luv until next week… peace :)
P.S. Keys is back… sounds a little like "No one" but I happy nonetheless :)
SO LONG, FAREWELL...
The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot