What does it mean to be an "international" airport? Well, it depends on who's doing the talking. We use big words, fancy titles, and industry jargon when we’re afraid we won’t measure up. When we need the status, we call in the cavalry – but while these labels definitely say something about us, it might not be what we want.
There are a lot of things we argue about. Politics. Manners. Money. Education. Sports. Business strategy. Vacation plans. Dinner plans. It’s one of our fundamental modes of interacting with others. But despite that infinite list of debate topics, all arguments can fit into just three categories: blame, values, or choice.
We believe that we've arrived, that we are at the end of history. When we look back, we tend to think that we’ve changed a lot in the past, but now we’re pretty much done changing. After years of growth, our permanent selves are now here – but this is far from the truth.
Many people see small talk as a waste of time and breath, some see it as a source of anxiety, and others see themselves as better than it. But ultimately, I fall firmly in favor of small talk, and so should you. It just might make you more successful, more understanding (and understood), and more happy.
I don’t care that much about where the next train is; I only care about when it’s coming. I do want to know exactly how much flour is in the cake recipe, though. There's stuff you want to be simplified and stuff you don't. But weather often lives in the in-between.