Written by Lorin Brice Hall
What’s your favorite color? This is such a common question. Everyone asks everyone this question. People ask it on dates, in random conversation, over text or whenever. It’s a question that doesn’t mean anything. It means nothing. It is a silence-killer. It is a sign that you want to keep talking to the other person, but you don’t know what to say to them. Also people don’t really care what the answer is. Do you really care about whatever color that someone else thinks is best? Is that something that is critical to who they are? Is it something you will remember?
But imagine if you did care about whatever color was someone’s favorite. You would then ask that person why that’s their favorite color, and you would learn something. Maybe yellow is Sue’s favorite color because it just feels naturally happy, and Sue hasn’t felt really happy in a long time, and yellow helps makes them feel good. Maybe Hank likes baby blue because that was the color of his Mom’s apron and he loves his Mom. Maybe Juan’s love of green stems from the nature walks his sister would take him on and he’s loved green since then. People don’t really arbitrarily have a favorite color. They have a reason for liking what they like and for disliking whatever they don’t like. These little details also matter. If I tell you the story of why I like whatever color I like, and then one day you reference that story? I’ll be your friend for life. I will fight anyone who slanders you because you listened to me! Listening to someone is the best way to show someone that they matter to you. People don’t listen and think. We are all so constantly bombarded by random information that it is hard to process the raw tons of stimuli that we are constantly smacked with. But if we try a little bit harder to pay attention to the relevant information that makes up our environment, then maybe we will all lead more attentive lives that make us feel more connected to the other people around us.