Acknowledging Essential Moments in Human Communication
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: Baylor University Press
Half Title Page, Title page, Copyright, Dedication
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An opening act: I was dressed in a t-shirt, jeans, tennis shoes, and a baseball cap as I walked into a campus coffee shop to get an espresso. As I was putting some sweetener into my drink, an undergraduate student came up...
1. In the Beginning Was an Opening
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A place, no matter how small (e.g., one pore on your skin), defines an opening in space and time. Openings, however, have been around longer than places. Both religion and science affirm this fact...
2. The Daily Habit of Being Open
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Let us recall the words of Albert Camus: “Thinking is learning all over again how to see, directing one’s consciousness, making of every image a privileged place . . . a privileged moment.”1 The type of thinking...
3. The Call to Openness
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At the age of fifty-eight, my father suffered complete kidney failure. For the rest of his life (four years), he would have to live with the help of a dialysis machine. His life was sustained, but its quality was tragic: he lost his job...
4. Acknowledgment: Being Open to Otherness
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What would life be like if no one acknowledged your existence? The question confronts one with the possibility of being isolated, marginalized, ignored, and forgotten by others, suffering the fate of social...
5. Our Perfect Capacity for Being Open
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By way of enacting acknowledgment, we create the openings of those dwelling places that are necessary for us to feel at home with others. This feeling is a comfortable way to be. Genuine friendship promotes the experience...
6. Truth, Eloquence, and the Creation of Openings
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The transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson writes of the heroic nature of eloquence: “Certainly there is no true orator who is not a hero. . . . The orator must ever stand with forward foot, in the attitude of advancing. . . . His speech...
7. Confession as an Opening
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In reporting things that the confessor has done or thought, a confession produces a kind of narrative. The discourse analyst Roger Shuy notes that such a narrative differs from standard narratives in that it implies...
8. The Beauty of Being Open
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We are literally “moved toward” (Latin: emovere) beauty because it makes us metaphysical creatures feel good. It is an emotional experience. At the very least, the move is an evolutionary survival mechanism...
9. Dialogue and the Death of Openness
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As opposed to the closed, rhetorical kind of question that says by its very asking, “We already know the answer, enough said,” an open question works to keep the conversation going by inviting possible interpretations...
Conclusion: Some Closing Remarks on Openings
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In concluding his book The Perfectibility of Man, the philosopher John Passmore notes that writing a book “can be a ‘vital joy,’ but a joy which is inevitably united with the thorns of anxious care. It is not a contribution to perfection...
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Page Count: 253
Publication Year: 2012