conversation is an engine

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On Being: One Shining Moment for Talk

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Krista Tippet, David Gushee and Frances Kissling07292013-prodialogue_lead

On Being recently broadcast a 51 minute conversation entitled Pro-Life, Pro-Choice, Pro-Dialogue. The recording includes a bunch of great moments and thoughts about communication and conversation as David Gushee and Francis Kissling each have their say and then tell what they’ve gained from the other side of this deeply divided topic.

I need to listen to the entire conversation again.

But toward the end of there was a moment where Ms. Tippet asked about the paradox of passionately clinging to what you know is true even as you reach out to understand  what your opponent/conversation partner says/thinks/feels. There is a growth that happens, a change. It is not a giving away of passion or the rightness of the cause, but a deep concern that emerges. Here’s Mr. Gushee:

…after the Princeton conference in 2010 I felt clearer [about the] the position I had going…. But also I was more clear about the intelligence and the love that motivated the people on the other side too. And I respected that…. (~43:30 to 44:01)

There is a mistaken fear about dialogue that says if I engage with another person who does not believe like I believe, I run the risk of losing what I believe. But most people find the opposite to be true: passion grows deeper and something else is added: an understanding care about the other person. The passionate divide may remain, but surrounding that divide is care for another. And that begins to change everything.

This seems to me a shining moment.

A moment many of us could pursue.


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