Sigmund Freud says that “the first human who hurled an insult instead of a stone was the founder of civilization.” In fact, the disputes begin where the dialogue ends, and we understand the concept far more better than other people. Humans have no choice but to talk. Dialogue is used as a means to untie knots. We need to practice dialogue at the family level first, then at the educational level, then at the community level, and most importantly at the political level.
Dialogue does not mean insults, ridicule, blame-seeking, excuse, and distortion. Rather, it begins with hearing; an action that arises from respect for human beings, from a sense of sympathy with the same kind and understanding of others. Dialogue is a reciprocal action and requires the participation of another, and this requires recognizing him as a peer, neither inferior nor superior. This means establishing a horizontal relationship with another. For in the vertical relationship, the work is based on command and obedience, and the dialogue is excluded. Conversation is based on the patience to listen, to put oneself in the audience’s shoes, and to look at the world through their eyes. Only in this way can an end be found to the conflicts.
In Afghanistan, however, dialogue is not a deep-rooted tradition. Hence, parties and groups have preferred to be one-sided speakers rather than conversation, which means monologue rather than dialogue. Because of this, we have witnessed more than just dialogue, and as a result, ended up with controversy. In the absence of dialogue, it is said that the sound of a gun is louder than the throat of a man and the cry of battle is louder than the festivals of peace and empathy. This is where tyranny arises and the voices are muffled in the throats and nothing is left in anyone but anger.
Dialogue, however, is not a choice, it is a fundamental and eternal need, especially if we do not want war and guns to be an integral part of our destiny. In order to untie the knots, we have to talk, meaning we should encourage dialogue between ethnic groups, dialogue between parties, dialogue between religions, dialogue between scientific and philosophical disciplines, and most importantly, dialogue between people and governments.
The media is a platform for practicing dialogue, and media freedom provides an opportunity to learn the methods of dialogue. Any restriction on the media and any attempt to suppress freedom of expression is pushing a society further into obstruction and thus paving the way for more violence. To encourage tolerance, we need to rely on reflective, insightful conversation.
Source: Hasht-e Subh Daily