A key question to ask yourself is what are communities built on? Or better yet, how do communities reach the point of co-existence? The unspoken, unseen, law that governs and gathers various individuals and puts them together to form a community is that of civil discourse. Civil discourse is the ability to gather different individuals, or different groups of individuals, with different opinions, and have them discuss their viewpoints in a civilized way, to reach a common ground. That is how communities are built. That is how societies are maintained. Through civil discourse, people can openly and publically express their opinions and beliefs, without any confusion, and leave the merits of which for the public opinion to decide, and ultimately agree or disagree with. 

 

There are alternatives to civil discourse, however. Albeit less favorable alternatives, and often times reckless and extreme. For instance, history is rich with the clear events of when civil discourse digressed and extremist debate thrived. The aftermath is also as vivid. Usually what follows is an environment of chaos, commotion, and catastrophe. Wars ensue and destruction soon follows. War has been a popular method of conflict resolution. When you think about the origin of war, and why wars really start in the first place, you can clearly see the failure and inability for pirates to pursue a more civil route. Instead, they rely on their muscles and antics to see a resolution through. Yet there is irony in war. Very seldom do wars dictate the end results. If you look back at the most notable wars in history, you are almost guaranteed to find that an event gathering all involved parties, whether directly or indirectly, for the purposes of dialogue and negotiation. This dialogue even occurs at a round table, at the world’s most infamous institutions or governing bodies -the U.N. for example. 

The irony is that even the most destructive of wars, the end results always require civil discourse to reach a resolution. Often time the civility is induced as a result of the huge failure the destruction and damage was to the parties involved. And that is what epitomizes and personifies the importance of civil discourse. The fact that even the extreme alternatives revert back to it. The fact that no matter how much they run from it, individuals or groups always end up pursuing it. The fact that civility trumps extremism or violence any time of the day.

 

That is the lesson that should be taught to every individual in every society around the world. That civil discourse is the best way to build a better community, country, and world. The other means are just distractions diverting you away from the inevitable, and most efficient, means. Which is sitting with opposing mindsets and figuring out a way to respect all opinions while reaching the most effective common ground. That is how you build. That is how you grow. And that is how you co-exist.