True dialogue can begin with positions, but it should end in understanding. “Before the tongue can speak, it must lose the power to wound,” said an old philosopher, and we need that insight now more than ever. Free riders come to community engagement exercises with only one purpose: to impose their views on others. They can’t compromise, no matter how well versed they are on the issues – and so the community suffers for their lack of belief in that community. Starting with two monologues is okay, but they must end in dialogue if progress is to be made.
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