“Come let us reason together, says the Lord.”
Whatever happened to dialogue? When did we stop talking with each other and start talking at each other? When did we stop listening and start shouting? Why did we stop reasoning together?
In our society today placing the blame has become more important than solving a problem. Dialogue has been replaced by simultaneous monologue. No need for facts in presenting or defending a position, when you can impugn another’s integrity by demonizing them.
We would do well to remember Proverbs 18:2.” The fool takes no delight in understanding, but rather in displaying what he thinks.” A wise person, on the other hand, in the words of Stephen Covey, seeks first to understand and then to be understood.
Civility in our discussions and dialogue is based on the inherent dignity of every person, regardless of their position in life. Showing disrespect for another says more about the one showing disrespect than the one who is disrespected.
An op-ed article in the June 24th Dallas Morning News by Roger Simon quotes a recent survey that “two out three Americans consider a lack of civility to be a major problem for the nation and 72 percent think this poor behavior has gotten worse in recent years.” (Source: Study by Powell Tate/Weber Shandwick in partnership with KRC Research)
The president of the research firm defined incivility as: “Rudeness and a lack of respect for those who have different points of view and who don’t share the same view of the world.”
Restoring civility to our discussions and our dialogues is the responsibility of each one of us in all of our interactions with others.
I can’t help but wonder if part of the problem is that our children are no longer being taught how to be civil. Are they being taught respect for elders and authority or do they model the incivility they see around them when they become adults? I find it interesting that the survey, as reported in the article, does not see either the family or the schools as being responsible for improving the civility of Americans.
Let’s begin to restore reason and civility to all or our discussions and dialogue today. A good place to begin is with our children at home and at school.
This post is also available in/Esta entrada también está disponible en: Spanish