First of all I would like to apologize for not responding right away to the comments people have made. I do appreciate them and as soon as I get back home, I will respond to each one individually. Please do not take offense at this. I am very glad that each of you found some time to read the postings and respond.
As the conference ended I can’t stop thinking about what happens next. Truth be told this is what I was thinking even before I boarded the plane to Rome. This weekend I will get back to my daily routine that has a very good tendency to overwhelm and dictate the rules. What happens then? What happens to the blog? I was asked to blog about my experiences at the conference, but the conference is over and a week or two later it will become history.
I strongly tried to avoid blogging about sightseeing for a very specific reason. If I asked you to tell me how the chocolate tastes, would you be able to do it? You would tell me to try a piece and find out on my own. There is no way I can describe the Sistine Chapel or the Trevi Fountain. If somebody says they can, they have never seen them not in the pictures. I could name all the paintings, tell you their history and name their creators, but it all will be useless. If you list me all the ingredients and the proportions of a lemon pie, I still would not be able to taste it, without making it and trying it. I can say that Sistine Chapel is astonishing, overwhelming, magnificent, but I can’t describe to you why I couldn’t leave it for one hour. The only reason I left is because I could have missed the conference bus, and probably it would be worth missing.
Thinking about this, I start to wonder how I can talk about the dialogue. I can find hundreds of quotes on dialogue by the best minds in the world, and yet I will not know what it is until I engage in one. I never knew how much I would miss playing tennis before I learned to play on a decent level. Now, the one thing I look forward to when I come back is picking up that racquet.
I think I start to understand why it is so hard to have a dialogue, because not a lot of people know the pleasure of agreeing with another, feeling how better you have become. Dialogue is not about winning or being right, but about becoming of better character after having one.
So, where does this leave me? In a great state of confusion. When I think about a dialogue and how to have it, the author who comes to mind is Plato. But that was many years ago. How many students can name a book, from the top of their head that taught them how to engage and have a meaningful dialogue? I am not one of them.
When was the last time somebody said let’s have a political dialogue? Never. It is impossible to have a political dialogue - only debate. Who ever has changed their mind in a debate? In schools or colleges are we even taught what dialogue is and how to have it, and I am not referring to a philosophy course that most of us slept through. Instead we have debate clubs and teams. Who even knows what a dialogue is anymore? I know for a fact that it is not just a conversation between two people. It is so much more. So how do I engage people into something I know almost nothing about?
I cheer myself thinking that I am not the only one who is having this problem. Leaders and intellectuals can lead countries, motivate people, create breathtaking experiences and yet, when it is time for a dialogue, they lose it in efforts of trying to prove their own points.
What are we doing wrong then?