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What the United Nations Can Do to Promote Dialogue among Civilizations — Hans d’Orville


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DIALOGUE AS PANACEA FOR PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE  — Preamble by Terrific Headlines–  A renowned Greek philosopher, Plato is credited with contributing a lot in his specialized fields. Plato was Aristotle’s mentor. His student, Aristotle, was also an extremely influential philosopher who taught Alexander the Great of Macedonia.  ”The trouble with much of what passes for communication today is that it’s all crosstalk. It’s a din, not a dialogue. The noisy chatter reflects the fact that we don’t really know how to engage one another in authentic conversations. ”We simply haven’t learned the skills of listening closely to each other, of engaging in meaningful exchanges, and of finding shared sources of meaning. We lack the know-how and the tools.”(Scott London) The implication in communications is that there are lots of noise in the channels which makes attempts to communicate a mirage. Most times, communication or understanding don’t take place as a result of several factors. In our own situation, so many factors including impatience, tribal, ethnic, religious and other mundane considerations block our attempts to make dialogue work. The author cited above asserts that:  dialogue is ”a form of discussion aimed at fostering mutual insight and common purpose. The process involves listening with empathy, searching for common ground, exploring new ideas and perspectives, and bringing unexamined assumptions into the open. When done well, the benefits can be extraordinary. Long-standing stereotypes can be dissolved, mistrust overcome, and visions shaped and grounded in a shared sense of purpose. People previously at odds with one another can come into alignment with objectives and strategies. New perspectives and insights can be gained, new levels of creativity stimulated, and bonds of community strengthened.’’ It could, therefore, be safely asserted that dialogue could be achieved, only when the four (4) requirements for successful communication is present – the sources, channel, message and the receiver (SMCR) that communicators call the Berlow’s Model that promotes  IMPORTANCE OF DIALOGUE: It is the contention of Scott London that: ’’Dialogue is every so often required ‘’to be able to overcome differences, find common ground, build meaning and purpose, and set directions together. We need to be able to think together as groups, as teams, as committees, as communities, and as citizens. Genuine understanding seems to be the exception rather than the norm in everyday communication. We speak at each other, or past each other. We speak different conceptual languages, hold different values, and embody different…

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