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News Foundation TOVPIL

Conditions for Dialogue

Whenever the truth is sought or whenever one wants to overcome an interpersonal conflict by means of dialogue, the first and essential attitude must be one of humility.

There is no error in this world that does not have its share of truth. And there is no human mind capable of grasping the whole truth.

We need humility to forget past events, past misunderstandings, and what happened in our last dialogue. A generous attitude of forgiveness is necessary. Emotional situations are what block communication between brothers. The distances within hearts crystallize into mental distances. In these cases, persons inhibit themselves and recoil down into the innermost regions of their being.

We need humility to make a new beginning after the failure of the last dialogue. At the time of the new dialogue, we need humility to detach our person from the truth, to seek the truth instead of ourselves or our exclusive interests.

We need humility to acknowledge mistakes or some aspects of the truth about which we have been mistaken and to allow ourselves to be enriched with the truth of the other. We need humility so as not to act triumphantly when the conclusion of the dialogue suggests that we were right.

Finally, we need humility to lower our tone of voice and even be silent when the discussion becomes heated, or when we perceive that the “enemy” feels humiliated by the outcome of the dialogue.

From the book “Come with me” by Father Ignacio Larrañaga


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