talking and listening to one another in a sincere attempt to understand each other
Well-intentioned, mutually respectful dialogue is clearly preferable to avoidance, disdain and hostility as a means of addressing our differences. This seems obvious, even unassailable. Would anybody disagree?
Unfortunately, however, engaging in dialogue is not always easy, even under favorable circumstances. And as stakes and tensions rise it becomes increasingly difficult, at some point becoming almost impossible.
Given the undeniable benefits of understanding and cooperation versus the appalling consequences of mistrust, enmity and violence, what an enormous loss we suffer, and what a great if silent shame we endure, when we opt for the path of least resistance and choose not to take up the supreme challenge of embracing genuine dialogue: learning how to talk and listen to each other in a sincere attempt to understand each other, however difficult it may be. Even when the going gets tough. Especially when the going gets tough.
Hence the all-important question: Are we capable of rising up to meet this challenge?
If I were king…
… I would devote maximum resources to a fearless exploration of the reasons for our collective failure of moral imagination and courage, wherever that investigation might lead. Then I would launch a full-scale campaign to make authentic dialogue highly valued and universally taught throughout the land. Finally, I would decree that genuine dialogue be the officially sanctioned, go-to methodology for addressing our differences, at all levels and in every arena, from interpersonal to international.
If I were king. But, alas, I am just a concerned citizen. So I will have to work on this from the ground up.
Welcome to Real Talk Revolution.