Our current angry, us/them culture wasn't born in the 2016 political campaign, but it sure was raised there.
As the Dalai Lama recently said, "What problem we face in the United States today is not about disagreement, but contempt. We've grown to thinking that if people disagree with us on issues of importance, they must be bad people."
When asked what we in the United States could do to fight against contempt, he said, "Practice warmheartedness..."
After the election, a group of us from across the political spectrum began to engage each other in a different way. Instead of staking out and defending ever-hardening positions, we started by defining the values and interests we hold in common, so that we might view our differences through the lens of our commonalities.
We set up a simple, moderated process by which we listen to understand and speak to be understood, and a set of ground rules to support it. It's called Common Ground Dialogue.
We host daily dialogue on the Dialogue Across Differences Facebook Group. Volunteer moderators are on duty during hours posted on the group page. Moderators function not as censors but to guide us in the dialogue process, keep us on topic, and make sure we always treat each other with respect, and never with contempt. To join, simply click on the link above, affirm that you will follow the ground rules, and you're in!
Early in 2018, we hope to begin monthly online Zoom video dialogues. So stay tuned...
About This Website
This website is designed a a resource for those engaged in common ground dialogue sponsored by Dialogue Across Differences, either as participants or as moderators.
The website has three main content areas and a blog, each found under its corresponding menu option:
- Participants. Instructions, ground rules, tips, and suggested reading for those participating in dialogue.
- Moderators. Instructions, procedures, tips, and suggested reading for those serving as dialogue moderators. Includes a link to password-protected Moderators Only page for more sensitive moderator-related topics.
- The Dialogue Blog. Posts reflecting on the purpose, process, and experience of dialogue by moderators, moderator mentors, and others.
This website and the video technology used to train moderators and that will ultimately be used to host video-based dialogue is hosted by The FaithX Project, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
If you would like to support the work of Dialogue Across Differences, consider making a contribution by clicking on the DONATE NOW button. This will take you to the FaithX donation page, where you can make a secure, tax-exempt donation.