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Posts Tagged ‘dialogue’

  • Virtual:  At one time this word meant that a thing was essentially the same, or equivalent to another.  But after a couple of years of 1st hand experience, we can all testify that virtual hugs, virtual meetings, virtual doctor visits, virtual reunions… are nothing like the real thing, and that virtual reality isn’t anything like the real world.
  • Privacy:  The demise of our privacy is the convergence of our cultures voyeuristic bent, with the advancements of technology.  We now live in a world where everyone carries their own personal electronic tracking device, which traces our every move, records every picture/ text/ meme/ video… we look at, and actively listens (i.e. Siri, Alexa) to every conversation.  Just about every significant piece of data related to our lives is now available to any person with the skills to access it.   On top of that, our entertainment includes “reality” shows with cameras mounted in places like the bathroom / bedroom, apps for hooking up with complete strangers for casual sex, and platforms for soliciting / selling nude photos /videos.
  • Justice:  The root of the word justice is “just”, which is related to the concept of right and wrong, but in our culture, that element has largely been eliminated.  In the modern vernacular, this term has become completely subjective.  When people declare, “Justice for enter name here” they’re not asking for a fair judgement, based on an unbiased review of the facts, they’re demanding a ruling in their favor, regardless of the facts.
  • Hero:  This word used to be reserved for people of high integrity and character, those who had gone above and beyond, who sacrificed, and overcame, and/or whose virtue worked to the greater good.  In recent decades, it has been attached to anyone who champions our own personal agenda, regardless of character/integrity.  As such, the word increasingly means little or nothing.
  • God Given Rights:  This phrase seems to be a favorite among those of the Judeo-Christian persuasion, but a review of the sacred texts doesn’t seem to support that many of the claimed rights come from God.  Indeed, the Bible speaks extensively about sacrificing ones worldly rights in order to fulfill a more eternal purpose.
  • Racism/Racist:  There is no doubt that tribalism and racism have plagued mankind throughout its history.  These are serious topics that warrant thoughtful consideration.  Applying these terms to things that don’t have anything to do with race, and/or using them as a stick to poke or beat anyone that disagrees with our perspective only dilutes their meaning, and short circuits the potential for meaningful dialogue.
  • Friend:  Perhaps no word has suffered a greater assault at the hands of social media than the word, “friend”.  Without malice, Facebook used this term to describe anyone you might connect with on their platform, and the meaning has steadily eroded from there.  A relationship that is devoid of privacy, physical interaction, meaningful dialogue, genuine affection, or shared experiences should hardly be described as a friendship.
  • Hate:  Hate is not merely the absence of love, it is an extreme form of malice with an endless potential for destruction.  It is not passive or haphazard.  It is active and fueled with intent.  But in today’s world, anyone who disagrees with my point of view is considered a “Hater” and anyone who tries to address my wrong behavior is “Hating” on me.  These arbitrary applications only serve to trivialize the profound nature of genuine hatred.
  • Dialogue:  It is a popularly held idea that protests draw attention to an issue and create dialogue; but I’ve noticed that depending on the nature of the protest, it more often distracts us from the real issue and creates rhetoric. Dialogue is talking to each other, presumably with the intent of reaching some new level of agreement, while rhetoric is talking at each other, generally used to establish the superiority of our position.  One has the potential to move us forward together, while the other can become the basis for civil war.  It can’t rightfully be considered dialogue if neither side is listening.
  • Unprecedented:  Thousands of years ago, King Solomon observed that “there is nothing new under the sun”.  No doubt his conclusion was based on man’s nature, and the repetitive pattern that human history illuminates.  But we live in an era where the emerging generation has been taught that their technological advancements, and evolution as a species have somehow exempted them from the lessons of the past.   Even a cursory review of history, or an incisive look at other cultures around our world would reveal that there is little that is “unprecedented” about the challenges we currently face.

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It can’t rightfully be considered dialogue if neither side is listening.

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A popularly held idea is that protests draw attention to an issue and create dialogue; but I’ve noticed that depending on the nature of the protest, it more often distracts us from the real issue and creates rhetoric. Dialogue is talking to each other, presumably with the intent of reaching some new level of agreement, while rhetoric is talking at each other, generally used to establish the superiority of our position.  One has the potential to move us forward together, while the other can become the basis for civil war.

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