1 min read

It is sometimes good to say obvious things

It is sometimes good to say obvious things. Saying obvious things gives other people the chance to agree and create common knowledge or a shared experience.

It can even be good to say obvious trivial things. I'm reminded of a dialog someone shared:

"Say, Pooh, why aren't you busy?" I said.

"Because it's a nice day," said Pooh.

"Yes, but —"

"Why ruin it?" he said.

"But you could be doing something Important," I said.

"I am," said Pooh.

"Oh? Doing what?"

"Listening," he said.

"Listening to what?"

"To the crickets. And that frog over there."

"What are they saying?" I asked.

"That it's a nice day," said Pooh.

"But you know that already," I said.

"Yes, but it's always good to hear that somebody else thinks so, too," he replied.

The point of this in a conversation is that it creates a shared context that you can build on. Once you've agreed that it's nice weather today, you can talk about the details of what's nice about it. You can compare it to other nice days that are nice in different ways. You can talk about how you don't get breezes like this on the coast—or you only get them on the coast. That could be enjoyable, useful, and surprising.

It is harder to have that conversation if you don't start off by saying the obvious: Nice weather today.