Why can’t we talk to each other?
Am I the problem, or are you?
Is it us or is it them?
It is a problem of talking or listening. I talk; do you want to hear me out? You talk; do I want to hear you out?
The Caux Round Table has asserted that discourse is best for moral governance, which implies both quality talking and quality listening.
Quite overlooked these days, as we grow more and more dismissive of others, are the advantages and ideals put forth by Aristotle and Cicero on friendship, on sociability as a profound human good, as at the core of ethics and morality, not to mention peace and prosperity.
Or what about old social expectations of being gracious and polite to those who are different or who don’t see things our way? Emily Post, anyone?
Is discourse a skill we must learn? If so, where can we find teachers?
Aristotle and Cicero also left us wonderful treatises on rhetoric – the art of getting others to listen to us. Both affirmed that in persuasion, the first step is to listen to the other and speak to their concerns and narratives, whatever they might be.
Please join us in-person at 9:00 am on Thursday, October 13, at the Landmark Center in downtown St. Paul for a round table discussion of why we just can’t get along with one another. Where is the way forward? Or, is it back to the mores and habits before the metastasizing of social media?
Perhaps a public statement should be drafted and circulated this election season?
Registration and a light breakfast will begin at 8:30 am.
Cost to attend is $10, which you can pay at the door.
To register, please email Jed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The event will last about an hour and a half.