listening and talking in a sincere effort to achieve mutual understanding
The mission of Real Talk Revolution rests upon a simple proposition:
As a means of addressing our differences, well-intended, respectful dialogue is manifestly superior to avoidance, condescension and hostility.
Given the clear benefits of communication and understanding versus the all-too-familiar results of mistrust and enmity, this proposition seems self-evident. Who would disagree? But as we all know from personal experience and observing the world around us, partaking in genuine dialogue is not always easy, even under favorable circumstances. And as differences, stakes and tensions mount, dialogue becomes increasingly difficult and often seems all but impossible.
So we must ask ourselves:
Are we capable of rising up to meet the challenge of engaging in genuine dialogue with each other, especially when it’s uncomfortable or difficult to do so? Or is this just a romantic notion, a delusion of misguided utopians, however desirable it may be in theory.
Entering into authentic dialogue when under stress is supremely challenging, and we have failed this test repeatedly throughout the ages. Moreover, we seem to be failing at an increasing rate today, especially in our public discourse.
Nonetheless, human beings have risen to meet this challenge, many times, even in the most trying of circumstances. The real question is:
Can we learn to embrace dialogue, not just as the rare, noble exception, but as our common, default method of addressing our inevitable differences?
It is the contention of Real Talk Revolution that we are fully capable of summoning the awareness, courage and moral imagination to make genuine dialogue an integral part of our individual lives and shared culture.
Will we do it?
Most people would probably say the odds are stacked against us. But what senseless suffering we bear, and what untold gifts we squander, by continuing down the well-worn path of least resistance. Galvanized by the distressing future that lies ahead if we do not reverse our course, we owe it to ourselves and our children to mobilize our innate resources – individually and collectively – to accomplish this vital mission.
Here’s the clincher:
Even if we fall short of producing widespread change in our politics and culture, every person who embraces genuine dialogue in her or his own life and relationships will benefit enormously. And the more of us who do, the easier it becomes for all of us.
If I were king…
…I would mount an intensive investigation into the deep-rooted and complex factors that make engaging in genuine dialogue so difficult.
…Then I would launch a full-scale campaign to make authentic dialogue widely recognized as an essential skill, and systematically teach it at all levels throughout the land.
…Finally, I would decree that dialogue be the officially sanctioned methodology for addressing our differences in every arena, and train an army of dialogue counselors and facilitators to support citizens in every village, town and city.
This would be my highest governing priority, if I were king. But, alas, I am just a concerned citizen. So I will work on this from the ground up, and I invite you to join me.
Welcome to Real Talk Revolution.
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I am inspired by the numerous people, groups and organizations already doing amazing work in alignment with this mission, and I look forward to engaging with many more of you as this nascent effort unfolds.
If you would like to contact me at any point, I would love to hear from you. A contact link and a subscriber sign-up are on the right. Comments are welcome below.
Thank you for your interest in Real Talk Revolution.
Ronald Fel Jones