I am at my home during this holidays and reading Paulo Freire’s “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”. It’s an amazing insightful book, which everyone who works for transformation of the world must read. What I am getting from the book is brilliant and I would also like to share few thoughts from a chapter with you all. I do not want to paraphrase it or change it but I want to put it as it is written by the Author.
I dedicate this post to all my friends who have been falsely accused and charged for raising their voice for what they believed and for asking for a dialogue. I just want to tell them that they were right because their intention was to dialogue for betterment of situation and their means were harmless and kind. So the consequences was not because of them but due to the absence of the “sense of dialogue” in the other party. I just want to say, stay strong, stay hopeful and be good…and pray for the people so that they may understand…
Everything written below is not mine but purely from Paulo Freire’s book “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”. All the credit is to the author of the book.
Human existence cannot be silent, nor can it be nourished by false words, but only by true words, with which men and women transform the world.
Human beings are not built in silence, but in word, in work, in action-reflection.
Dialogue is the encounter between people, mediated by the world, in order to name the world. Hence, dialogue cannot occur between those who want to name the world and those who do not wish this naming – between those who deny others the right to speak their word and those whose right to speak has been denied them. Those who have been denied their primordial right to speak their word must first reclaim this right and prevent the continuation of this dehumanizing aggression.
He says dialogue will not be possible in the absence of 5 things, namely: Love, humility, faith, hope and critical thinking.
- Dialogue cannot exist, however, in the absence of a profound love for the world and for the 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 be exist is a relation of domination. Because love is an act of courage, not of fear, love is commitment to others. If I do not love the world, if I do not love life and people, I cannot enter into dialogue.
- Dialogue cannot exist without humility. Transformation of the world cannot be an act of arrogance. Dialogue, as the encounter of those addressed to the common task of learning and acting, is broken if the parties lack humility.
How can I dialogue if I always project ignorance onto others and never perceive my own?
How can I dialogue if I regard myself as a case apart from others – mere “its” in whom I cannot recognize other “I”s?
How can I dialogue if I consider myself a member of the in-group of “pure” men, the owner of truth and knowledge, for whom all non-members are “these people” or “the great unwashed”?
How can I dialogue if I am closed to – and even offended by – the contribution of others?
How can I dialogue if I am afraid of being displaced, the mere possibility causing me torment and weakness?
Self-sufficiency is incompatible with dialogue. Men and women who lack humility or have lost it, cannot come to the people, cannot be their partners in transforming the world.
- Dialogue further requires an intense faith in humankind, faith in their power to make and remake, to create and recreate, faith in their vocation to be more fully human. Faith in people is a prior requirement for dialogue. Without faith in people, dialogue is a farce which inevitably degenerates into paternalistic manipulation.
- Nor can dialogue exist without hope; Hope is rooted in people’s incompletion, from which they move out in constant search – a search which can be carried out only in communion with others. Hopelessness is a form of silence, of denying the world and fleeing from it….
- Finally, true dialogue cannot exist unless the dialoguers engage in critical thinking – thinking which discerns an indivisible solidarity between the world and the people and admits of no dichotomy between them. Critical thinking contrasts with naïve thinking, which sees “historical time as a weight, a stratification of the acquisitions and experiences of the past, from which the present should emerge normalized and “well-behaved”. Only dialogue, which requires critical thinking, is also capable of generating critical thinking.
Without dialogue there is no communication and without communication there can be no true education.
Trust is established by dialogue. False love, false humility and feeble faith in others cannot create trust.
To say one thing and do another – to take one’s own word lightly – cannot inspire trust. To glorify democracy and to silence the people is a farce: to discourse on humanism and to negate people is a lie.