Civil Dialogue and Citizenship
Navigating Our Deepest Differences
Lesson I. What is Civil Dialogue? Let's Practice
Step 1. American Problem
We have a problem in the United States. Our politics are so polarized that people view others as the enemy if they have different political views. This problem is compounded by social media where people are mostly surrounded by others with similar views. In this way, we are not exposed to differences. This polarization has led to contempt in American politics and society. Contempt means to view others with scorn or think they are inferior.
The next generation–you–can be part of the solution. As you prepare for responsibilities in citizenship, you can develop the skill of civil dialogue and engage with others who see things differently than you do. The 3Rs–rights, responsibility, and respect–can guide you in your preparation for citizenship. These are to:
- Understand every human has the right of conscience;
- Feel a responsibility to protect rights of others;
- Respect the human dignity of others and their freedom to disagree.
Let’s learn more about civil dialogue together.