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28: A FRIEND

Welcome to the 28th post in our Journey in Dialog. I asked four friends, who happen to live in four different states, to tell me what our dialog meant to them and in one case, to his organization. The stories that follow in this post as well as the next two posts make transformational dialog personal.

JACQUE has been a friend and colleague for decades. She has been a professor of criminal justice. Her IQ is likely more impressive than mine. I asked her to share what she thought was the basis of our dialog across several decades. Her response moved me, and I would like to share it with you.

“That one is easy, Irving: Love – a deep appreciation of the other and a recognition of a common bond to make things better in the world.

“It began for me when I interviewed for the job at your company, Metrex. You gave me a personality test that consisted of questions – the answers to which would tell you something deeper about me.

“I felt at home with your endeavor, and I remember thinking, ‘Irving Stubbs really understands what is important not only in a relationship (dialog), but also in a person.’ You made me feel comfortable and welcome. You weren’t looking for someone who agreed with you, but someone who shared your values of integrity – a seeker of truth and, I believe, of justice.

“I also felt at home with you because you appeared to care deeply about what you were doing. Putting all of that together equaled the potential for a deep friendship, a common road traveled and grounded in CARE.

“My studies at Vanderbilt were focused on Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time. Heidegger’s philosophy of being-in-the-world as Dasein (being there, as in being at the horizon or end of life – living with a grounded and deep sense of one’s mortality) was a shared reality between us, as it has been for other friendships in my life. For Heidegger, we live in advance of ourselves. We carry our end within us. How we live that truth of death is everything.

“You and I share a reality that is not designed or concocted by us, but that simply is. It is not easy to put into words, yet it is manifested through dialog.”

© 2018 The Living Dialog™ Ministries

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