A Way to
Think and Talk Together That Allows Our Collective Common Sense, Wisdom,
and Potential to Flourish
Culture of Peace, as defined by the United Nations, is living with a set
of values, attitudes, modes of behavior and ways of life that reject violence
and prevent conflicts by tackling their root causes to solve problems through
dialogue and negotiation among individuals, groups and nations. To abolish
war and violent conflicts we need to transcend and overcome differences
with understanding, tolerance and solidarity among all peoples and cultures.
Learning from our diversity, through dialogue and the exchange of information,
is an enriching process.
the concept of dialogue remains elusive and our ability to conduct it with
skill can be a challenge. To provide some insight into this often misunderstood
but desperately needed talent this page explores some of the elements that
is a conversation in which people think together in relationship. Thinking
together implies that you no longer take your own position as final. You
relax your grip on certainty and listen to the possibilities that result
simply from being in a relationship with others – possibilities that might
not otherwise have occurred.
is a situation in which two people enter in one state, and when they exit;
they are changed because some of their ideas have been jolted, enriched,
or repelled. That's really what education — and leadership — are all about."
of us believe at some level that we must fix things or change people in
order to make them reachable. Dialogue does not call for such behavior.
Rather, it asks us to listen for an already existing wholeness, and to
create a new kind of association in which we listen deeply to all the views
that people may express. It asks that we create a quality of listening
and attention that can include — but is larger than — any single view.”
Isaacs, author of Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together
Brumat, founding dean of the
Duxx Graduate School of Business Leadership
is an external manifestation of an internal connectedness. It is a symptom
of perceptual change that is rooted in the deep relatedness of all life.
When we develop an awareness of the whole within which all parts and interrelationships
sit, synchronous events become commonplace occurrences. While synchronous
events are fascinating and useful, it is in the change in awareness, the
focus on relatedness and the whole system that produces them, that the
far-reaching value lies. Collaborative partnerships and shared leadership
depend on the development of this focus. Dialogue encourages this shift
of mind. In dialogue we listen for connections, for relationship. We release
the need for any particular outcome and ask questions that seek a new and
yet unseen level of understanding. We expand our listening to perceive
connections and wavelengths that we might have previously filtered out.
It is no surprise that our awareness of and availability to synchronicity
Ellinor and Glenna Gerard
of Dialogue: Rediscover the Transforming Power of Conversation
we enhance our respect for the sanctity of life and human dignity through
our daily behavior and steady efforts toward dialogue, the foundations
for a culture of peace will deepen and strengthen, allowing a new global
civilization to blossom. With women leading the way, when each and every
person is aware and committed, we will be able to prevent society from
relapsing into the culture of war, and foster and nurture energy toward
the creation of a century of peace.”
Ikeda, President, Soka Gakkai International
that can make interfaith dialogue valuable have much in common with those
that lead to success in mediation. Leonard Swidler of Temple University
in Philadelphia has written The Dialogue Decalogue: Ground Rules for
Interreligious Dialogue. Here is an adaptation for secular peacebuilding
primary purpose of dialogue is to change and grow in the perception and
understanding of each other's reality and then to act accordingly.
to benefit the entire community, must ultimately be a project involving
participant must come to the dialogue with the fullest possible honesty
participant must assume a similar commitment to honesty and sincerity in
the other partners.
participant must define him/herself.
participant must come to the dialogue with no hard-and-fast assumptions
as to where the points of disagreement are.
can take place only when each person's contribution is given equal value.
can take place only on the basis of mutual trust.
entering into dialogue must be at least minimally willing to be critical
of their own positions.
participant eventually must attempt to experience his/her partner-in-dialogue's
perspective “from within."
Go to the following links to learn more about dialogue:
Nations Year of Dialogue Among Civilizations — http://www.un.org/Dialogue/
Celebrates the Year of Dialogue Among Civilizations — http://www.unesco.org/dialogue2001/
Dialogue Institute — http://global-dialogue.com/
Dialogue to Action Initiative — http://thataway.org/dialogue/
Resources" to Help You Get a Dialogue Started — http://www.thataway.org/dialogue/res/res3.htm
More About the Dialogue Movement & Process — http://www.thataway.org/dialogue/res/res5.htm
Through Dialogue: A Time to Talk — Thoughts on a Culture of Peace,
2000 Peace Proposal by Daisaku Ikeda — http://www.sgi.org/english/sgi_president/works/peace/peace00.htm
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