I was traveling not too long ago when someone who did not speak English as their primary language asked me an interesting question. In some cultures, it is not always considered polite or even safe to answer a common American question like, “where are you from?” or “where do you live?” It is also not considered polite to not answer a question if asked. This can lead to some culture crossing issues.
As my friend and I spoke, I began to remember a story. It is one of my favorite stories. I first found it on youtube in a Jimmy Kimmel clip. It perfectly summed up not only a way to get out of giving your address to someone but also how you take a “programmed into our dialogue” question and force others to see more than just the social politeness structure of our interactions. It is an answer that immediately causes people to consider more and to consider it more in-depth.
On several occasions, Matt Damon has talked about meeting Prince, and how Prince was not the kind of person that would accept small talk as a valid form of communication. He tended to make people think beyond the trappings of polite society.
Damon took his daughter to a Prince concert. – Side Note: This was the first concert to which his daughter had ever gone. There are advantages to being the daughter of Matt Damon. – As the show was coming to a close Damon and his family were summoned (The man is Prince) into a room to meet him.
It isn’t always easy to know what to say when you are in a room with a Prince. When you are in a room with The Prince, it is all the more challenging to know what to say. Many of us think, knowing how Prince pushes others to deeper levels of thought, we should be existential, perhaps philosophical, and then there is the Matt Damon way. Matt decided to make small talk with Prince and said, “So you live in Minnesota? I hear you live in Minnesota.”
Prince replied in the only way you would ever expect him to reply, “I live inside my own heart, Matt Damon.”
Here is a copy of the clip from the episode of Jimmy Kimmel.
Prince was doing more than just answering awkwardly to throw someone off. He was reminding Damon that in a world as fast-paced and as far-reaching as ours, if we know our hearts and can “live” in them, then we will always be home. It’s not a place. It’s a mindset.
My hope for you is that today you can live in your heart.