Dialogue Team
Recently, I was at a family get-together. You know how it goes—brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, and children of cousins. 

The family made much ado of one cousin’s 17-year old son receiving accolades for his star status on the high-school debate team. His team travels the region arguing, trapping, and basically smashing the other’s viewpoints as judges score each blow. The family is very proud and has high expectations for his future. I’m not so sure.

My interaction with him, albeit brief, was draining. I felt like I had been in a fight—about NFL football, the weather, and the color of the grass. Punch. Counterpunch. Knockdown. I learned little; he even less.

I left wondering what a high-school dialogue team would look like. Traveling kids respecting each other, listening to understand, withholding judgment, acting with compassion, and together seeking to create a better, third alternative to our society’s tough questions. These are the skills that will serve him, and all of us, best in the future. 

A dialogue tournament. Now how would one score that?
DEV / DIALOGUE / Dec 5, 2011, 3:22pm / Comments (184)
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