Two of my recent reads — Faithfulness and Enlightenment Now — provide a very optimistic worldview and a sharp contrast from the mainstream. The rise of populist movements, the challenges globalization faces, and polarisation on issues as diverse as healthcare, culture, religion, and sexuality — get us to hold more extreme and more divergent views. It is crucial to commit to engaging in dialogues frankly and thoroughly to the extent of living by Aristotle’s view that it is the mark of an educated individual to be able to entertain a thought without necessarily accepting it. Doing so calls for participation in public dialogue, enabling on an individual level to become more open-minded, to look at all sides of an argument, to provide scope and structure to thoughts and work, and in practice to develop rhetoric.
For the current and new platforms to really promote dialogue (not monologue), maintain substance, and be more engaging, the need for inclusive participation has never been more essential. And to demand the best out of the bold ones who get to establish the different platforms is not too much to ask. Not anymore.
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