The Importance of Dialogue
Freire acknowledged and embraced the significance of love in Pedagogy of the Oppressed, “As individuals or as peoples, by fighting for the restoration of our humanity we will be attempting the restoration of true generosity. And this fight, because of the purpose given it, will actually constitute an act of love.” (Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed).
Education and liberation as an act of love is central to Freire’s philosophy, and so often overlooked. Furthermore, he emphasizes the importance of dialogue, which is central to Lovescaping & Dreamscaping, and argues that dialogue cannot exist if love does not exist:
“Dialogue cannot exist, however, in the absence of a profound love for the world and for people. The naming of the world, which is an act of creation and re-creation, is not possible if it is not infused with love. Love is at the same time the foundation of dialogue and dialogue itself. It is thus necessarily the task of responsible Subjects and cannot exist in a relation of domination. Domination reveals the pathology of love: sadism in the dominator and masochism in the dominated. Because love is an act of courage, not of fear, love is commitment to others. No matter where the oppressed are found, the act of love is commitment to their cause—the cause of liberation. And this commitment, because it is loving, is dialogical. As an act of bravery, love cannot be sentimental; as an act of freedom, it must not serve as a pretext for manipulation. It must generate other acts of freedom; otherwise, it is not love. Only by abolishing the situation of oppression is it possible to restore the love which that situation made impossible. If I do not love the world—if I do not love life—if I do not love people—I cannot enter into dialogue.” (Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppresed)
One of the pillars of love is communication, and dialogue is an intrinsic part of that. Dialogue means engaging in a reciprocal communicative action that leads to an exchange of ideas, listening, understanding, discussing, reflecting, engaging and ultimately creating new forms of knowledge, new ways of looking at the world, of finding solutions to problems and creating meaningful insight. Freire further argues that dialogue cannot exist without humility, another pillar of love. In recognizing our humanness, our limitations, our vulnerability and being humble about our place in this world we can allow for a healthy, fruitful and loving dialogue to take place.
Fellow Dreamscapers and Lovescapers, how do you engage in dialogue?