Civil discourse is an important tool for society. It is the way that populations and people communicate with one another. It is also the way that societies untangle the many knots that tend to tether down their unity and growth. Yes, civil discourse is important. It’s important for coming together as to not fall apart. It’s important for finding similarities in the wake of so many differences. It’s important for understanding each other when most people feel misunderstood. But most importantly, civil discourse is important you as an individual are trying to break your echo chamber.
Civil discourse is not only about communication and dialogue. It’s more than that. It’s about practicing respect, restraint, and most importantly, civility. The keyword in civil discourse is the word civil. It’s the act of accepting other people’s opinions and viewpoints even if they go against your own. In order to do that you have to be open-minded. The alternative to civil discourse is that of extremist debate and radical rhetoric. It occurs when people cling on to their opinions, no longer for whether or not they believe in it, but rather for the purposes of not admitting they’re wrong, or worse, not relenting to the opposing side. That is an example of radical thinking at its finest. At times it is done on purpose. Other times it’s done unknowingly, for instance, a person who is stuck in an echo chamber of thought and belief and doesn’t realize that other viewpoints exist.
You can always choose to break your echo chamber. It’s important to do so because then you can begin to engage and experience the different viewpoints out there. In fact, civil discourse starts by releasing yourself from the restraints of your echo chamber. Only then can you continue to communicate with the other people and participants of your society. Conversing and debating them on the many different social issues that both you and them experience on a daily basis. That is how societies are built, that is how they grow stronger, and that is how they prosper. Once civil discourse fails, then chaos ensues. That equation has held true throughout time, and evidence is apparent throughout history. Many cities, societies, and empires have fallen because of a lack of civil discourse.
That’s why civil discourse is so important because it’s a tool that you use to enlighten yourself and to enlighten others. How else can you communicate and bridge the opposing opinions you have with your community counterpart? It would be extremely difficult to do via other means. Especially considering that other means are most likely to be violent and chaotic. This is why civil discourse stands as the best choice for the pursuit of putting together a population of people who want to co-exist with one another and want every one of their voices to be heard. The only way to do that is to be open to everyone’s thoughts and communicate yourself towards a common paradigm from which you can build a society.