In this essay, I’m considering the significance of friendship and dialogue, particularly through the lens of religious study, as this is my Major in university.
Consider the extent to which you think friendship may be a factor in developing dialogue. How can it be a tool in increasing understanding between people? Does it always lead to mutual agreement and understanding? What are you experiences of this, if any? In the following paper, I’ll consider the significance of human interactions, and particularly that of friendships in the formulation of ideas, and new perspectives, in other words, dialogue.
Compassion, understanding, or relatability, all these are developed through a fundamental understanding that we share a common humanity, and that is in, our suffering, we all, basically suffer the same thing. The only way to come into contact with this reality is through, friendship, the sharing of yourself with another, dialoguing, and essentially coming to the realization that, a commonality is shared, and that is in our fundamental humanness. This relates to the Inter-religious dialogue, which can transcend boundaries.
Does this always lead to mutual agreement and understanding? Humans share a fundamental humanness; however, we also differ in opinion, in ideas, and belonging. Our identities, that which we agree as our ‘selves’, is also that which separates us from the other. This manifests in the context of religion, according to the textbook as, inter-religious exclusion, rivalries, unacceptable traditions, and inequality of representatives. Religious groups may hold so strongly their religious identities that they are incapable of seeing different religions as having validity.
What are my personal experiences with friendships and discourse? I’d say, friendships are an invaluable aspect of my life, and provide for me, practically speaking, a way to share ideas, and dialogue with another person. Ultimately, the purpose of this would be to expand my own limited perspectives, to consider other perspectives, and see how they can refine my own. We can only know so much as an individual person, we are not in a vacuum, therefore, it’s in our best interest to learn to cohabitate, and in my humble opinion, in a less-violent, and more openly discursive way.
To conclude, friendship opens possibilities for greater understandings between peoples, and
discourse can open possibilities between seemingly opposing parts. However, there’s a responsibility in the hands of those participating in the discourse, to in a way, bring down their defensive and presumptuous barriers, so as to deeply consider the others position. Of course, there are limitations to this approach, as a human being is an unpredictable, and often defensive kind of creature, wherein we wish to defend our positions, and thus peace between parties cannot be predicted.