In an article on, Olaf Werder points out that in today's polarized milieu, dialogue between people has given way to "parallel monologues, paired with an inability to listen." Many conversations devolve into competitions where participants verbally attack each other and do not hesitate to shout their ideas rather than convey them in a civilized manner.

There can be little understanding or insight when dialogue is trashed for just another competition. Whereas human beings have a natural drive toward belonging and serving the common good, Werder suggests that we need to work harder "to balance impersonal with personal communication, seek out and engage with opposing opinions on purpose, and try understanding the background for someone's position by actively listening."

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