Friday, November 13, 2009

Open Dialogue and Mediation Could Change the State of the Nation

I recently viewed the PBS POV (Point of View) program documentary "The Fire Next Time," about how extremists with an open mike can incite hatred and hate-crimes in an American town in which people used to agree to disagree. The film also shows the process that conflict resolution expert Melinda Smith used to bring both sides back into open dialogue, the necessary beginning to any possibility of a future resolution to the conflict. There is now hope that this conflict may be resolved. The Q & A on the website about Resolving Community Conflicts is excellent and a must-read for anyone interested in resolving conflicts of any kind.

I posted what follows on their site. I agree that open dialogue and mediation are extremely important in resolving conflicts. The United States could most certainly use this on a national level at this time, due to the divisiveness and hate engendered by some national talk radio hosts and news reporters. As Americans, we used to come together to resolve our differences, to help each other and build our communities and country. Now, it seems like vocal people on the outer extremes of both the left and right are bent on using media outlets to incite hate, instead, which is beginning to tear apart the fabric of our society. Perhaps the majority of moderates who have been drowned out by the few, can come together, find common ground, and speak up to lend a more balanced and cohesive central core through which we can weave a more peaceful resolution to the conflicts in which we currently find ourselves. We could all benefit from learning mediation and conflict resolution strategies.

Here are the links, the first to the documentary, the second to the Q & A:

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