-The Art Of Respectful Dialogue-


You're not listening!

"One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what one another has to say." 
- Bryant H. McGill


    You ever have those moments in life where you escape to your own personal psychological world of perplexity, due to the boundlessly multiplying amount of questions; that can oftentimes leave you feeling in a state of concern if those questions are not answered.  For some of us, we start to question the intentions and source of the motives that provoke such curiosity to arise--due to social or even societal engineering--creating a mental self-governing filtering/censoring of thoughts. As for others of us, our creativity/determination relishes our inquisitive half, prompting us to see through and solve this equation to the very end.  

    For some reason, I have come to the conclusion that these two options are the main culprits that boil down in the pot of reason currently, because of the highly effective technological and social advancements in our global structures.  With technology being at the forefront of prioritization and available to almost every person in the world along with social causality; questions, thoughts and what to do or not do with them has become paramount in today's world. The first conclusion I came to that ends with the extreme self-editing of thought, is a result of the desire to adhere and "fit-in" with a group.  The term "Groupthink" has been used in some circles to describe the main reasons for many of the asterisk marks on humanities historical record that has led to a multitude of turning points. Some good, some bad.  All questionable. According to author, Kendra Cherry, in her thought-provoking article, What Is Groupthink?, she says the term is best defined as--

                   "...a psychological phenomenon in which people strive for consensus within a group. In many cases, people will set aside their own personal beliefs or adopt the option of the rest of the group. The term was first used in 1972 by social psychologist Irving L. Landis (Cherry 2020)."

    My deduction is that throughout history, the basis for commonality results from the desire to not stand out due to the overarching belief that the group is the proper moral basis for reason, instead of the individual. I disagree with this mentality because I think that the formulation of moral self-governing should be exclusive to the person through the means of choice instead of persuasion from mass appeal.  An example of this is seen in my book, (The Unsolvable Intrigue: An Anthology of Poetry and Short Stories), where I utilize my poetic and storytelling voice coupled with the unfettered usage of free-thought to shed light on subjects I felt needed to be discussed, without personal-editing hindrances.  Not feeling self-conscious about thinking for oneself is much more beneficial to an individual as well as to the whole of humanity.  It maximizes the potential for positive possibilities and real progress to emerge through mature dialogue.  The ground-breaking basis for what can be seen as a "better tomorrow" should be through the conduit of Socratic discussion.  The great Socrates was insistent upon the belief that most things should be questioned and deeply contemplated, especially when it came to idealisms and philosophies.  An example of this can be seen in the incorporation of this method in teaching styles for youth.  By spending some portions of time in the classrooms allowing more discussions amongst students and the bouncing off of academic ideas can overall enhance the quality of learning, strengthening the students' minds and individual confidence of thought.  As those students grow into full-fledged adults, they will be less inclined to simply go along with what the majority is saying, due to years of being "taught how to think", but they will in turn have the ability to think deeply for themselves in a naturally creative manner.  Now, I am not saying that repelling social thought is the goal, because that is not always the case; however I do think that it is in one's best interest to think for one’s self and listen and learn in order to make more informed decisions. 

                                                    Instructional Strategy - Socratic Seminar

    This is where listening is vital to progress.  During these discussions, it is crucial that we are respectful of others' opinions and listen to each other in the hopes of coming to solutions and overall betterment.  With every person having something to contribute to the conversation, based upon their own conclusions, there is a wealth of knowledge to pull from.  Instead of one person's opinion and limited sight, being the main go-to source, there can be other knowledgeable perspectives brought to the table--leading towards other alternatives.  The utilization of respectful dialogue and thorough listening, coupled with reasonable conclusions and fair compromising, can heighten our growth as societies and as individuals who learn to authentically care for one another; leading us towards a better tomorrow with more positive possibilities in the future.  


        I hope you found this post to be interesting, insightful and inspirational! Have a great rest of your day or night!

"The best way to solve problems and to fight against war is through dialogue." - Malala Yousafzai


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