America has a problem. The aftermath of the verdict is another stone on the pathway to our devolution as a nation. The actual verdict is not what I am alluding to but a failure to engage in true dialogue around issues that plague our great nation.
We have lost our sense of what it means to have true dialogue, if we ever had that sense to begin with. We are so concerned about the debate, a win-lose scenario, that we are unwilling to be open to others’ ideas and thoughts. Think about that for a second. We ask our presidential candidates and nominees to debate one another instead of dialogue with one another. We try to create division and divisiveness at every opportunity. Why does there always have to be a winner and a loser? There are situations where every one can win, but they are harder to pursue. Win-lose is easier.
Dialogue is a win-win situation as we are truly exposed to multiple viewpoints. Instead of waiting to respond, dialogue is about really listening to what others are saying and exploring those ideas. It is about putting a mirror up to ourselves. We must confront our own thoughts and “felts” and unpackage what they mean. If our leaders engaged in dialogue and not debate, do you think we would still be facing some of the issues we face? Yes, we probably would, but I would feel much better about the potential future.
Dialogue may not be concerned directly with truth – it may arrive at truth, but it is concerned with meaning.
At the end of the day, dialogue is not determined to have someone change their ideology. That is a potential byproduct, but not necessary to be successful. At the very least, have an actual conversation. Listen intently to what the other person is saying. Don’t just wait for your return to respond. Engage. Ask questions that probe. Our nation will remain in neutral until we take the time to truly understand each other.
Therefore, the source is not in time – not back in ancient times, when it may have started – but rather the source is always now.