Discussion or Dialog?
Discussion, although sometimes necessary for an immediate solution, isn't the method to bring about peace among all people. So, I have been thinking quite a bit lately about dialog. Is it even possible? I think so. Some think that in the field of religion it is impossible because, for true dialog to occur, each party must suspend their own beliefs, certainties and assumptions. And, as we all may know, religion is one of the most embedded fields for non-negotiables. Here's another list, comparing discussion with dialog:
- Discussion comes from a fixed position. Dialog suspends its position.
- Discussion exchanges opinions. Dialog discovers new ideas.
- Discussion is in favor of its own view. Dialog is open to the view of the other.
- Discussion attempts to convert the other. Dialog listens to the other.
- Discussion produces agreement, compromise or division. Dialog creates a new place.
- Discussion can become more rigid. Dialog softens and opens.
- Discussion can become confrontational. Dialog is sympathetic.
- Discussion has non-negotiables. For dialog, everything is negotiable.
- Discussion will not produce deep change. Dialog invites it.
- Discussion does not require a spirit of goodwill. Dialog assumes unity.