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40k for 40 days

February 12: Day 27

Day 27 - How Vital is Space and Place for Dialogue in Creating or Resolving Peace?

One thing I am even more convinced about now, that today's movements and reflections have only reinforced, is that suppressing, denying, or just not being open or courageous enough to embark on genuine dialogue and conversation, will, deny us many more opportunities for peace.

When I say, genuine, I mean, real, safe open space, not talking shops, not forced dialogue, not a conversation between unequal partners, or the facade of dialogue with one or more parties having their mouths gaged or hands tied.

Whether it is carving time and space to have honest, introspective conversations about our thoughts, actions, and interpretations, or if it is a conversation with family, friends, or our close community, an openness to listen with full attention and share with full intention is crucial.

The very same, I would argue, is required with those who we may disagree with or hold different perspectives, based on our lived experiences and ways of understanding. If we speak and listen with integrity and allow others to do so too, we create the best chance of having a more peaceful outcome. It may sound so simple and yet seem so challenging at times to do, but what's the alternative? Not listen, lie to ourselves and others, deny people a chance to be heard, lock people up or somehow demonize, dehumanize, or attempt to discredit their voice to be weakened? How will this do anything but exacerbate and inflame situations leading to more harmful outcomes for all directly or indirectly involved?

Two Questions I was left with by the end of my 27th movement, looking for more meaning, were...

Today, tomorrow, and this week, in what way can I contribute to making dialogue and honest conversations more of a reality, whereby I offer adequate space, air, and encouragement, as well as an open ear and an attempt to be present without judgment?


How might these conversations and dialogues lead to more peace in my life and for those around me?


Shane O'Connor



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