We have been talking here lately about prejudices and stereotypes. It is
odd that I happen to enter this particular thread after that discussion.
We each have our own sets of sets which we use constantly. A common human
tendency is to think that all are like ourselves in most (if not all)
ways. This is not true, but we manage to convince ourselves that it is.
I am under the impression that the process of dialogue allows us to step
on each others' values in the act of expressing thoughts about various
subjects. This is possible in a society where our values are an integral
part of our individuality and identity because we "suspend" those values
and subsequent beliefs in order to examine our previous position from a
new viewpoint. If this is so, then it should be very difficult to step on
The difficulty in maintaining such a status during dialogue is that we
have all been taught that we must state a position and then defend it.
When we fall back into this, we get our feelings hurt because we see our
values being trampled on (read: invalidated) by someon else's expressed
Before we lash out because our values, beliefs, feelings, thoughts,
aspirations, etc. have been assaulted, I think we should first stop and
ask ourselves whether the posting or thread we are participating in at the
time is in dialogue or has it moved to discussion where we need to defend
Just an errant thought from a pocket rabble-rowser.
Clyde Howell The Howell Group firstname.lastname@example.org
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <email@example.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>