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Francisco Javier Pérez Latre, , professor of the School of Communication

The common house

Tue, 02 Feb 2016 17:42:00 +0000 Published in Navarra Newspaper

In recent weeks we have experienced an intense discussion in public opinion in Navarra, with different positions on our healthcare system and how it can be improved every day. It has been a sometimes passionate discussion , where good arguments have not been lacking, but neither have outbursts and disrespect to people and institutions. At times, deep disagreements have been revealed, which easily come to the surface, hindering the great agreements we need. Building a true community in our foral community is a task that will take time. The study of communication provides interesting lessons.

 The idea of a common home refers to a precious concept that touches us deeply in a land as diverse as Navarre: the concept of community. Communication and community are two sides of the same coin. In fact, we are amazed and astonished to see how the media bring people together.

 However, we live in partisan, divided and ideologized societies. Some people insist on seeing the world as a place full of rivals, "competitors" and "enemies" (imaginary or real). We forget that we are part of a society. That we are in the same boat and going to the same port. Sometimes we lack the generosity and open-mindedness necessary to recognize the merit of others and seek common ground meeting. In fact, disagreement affects all subject organizations, not just political ones. What remains of the respect, and sometimes even admiration, that we should have for those who do not think as we do? As the great global leader of the moment, Pope Francis, has written: "We often succumb to attitudes that do not allow us to dialogue: arrogance, not knowing how to listen, prior disqualification". Those who want to build society must stop seeing the other as an evil to be "eliminated".

The best solutions are win-win solutions, because communication triggers a virtuous circle. It is no longer just a question of what you think or what I think, but of the common good, to which interest should be sacrificed staff. On the contrary, when everyone seeks only his or her own interest, relationships become complicated and the future is obscured. Sometimes it is not understood that dialogue and the search for unity are not utopias of the naive and idealistic, but the most practical, reasonable and humane solutions.

For society to function, it is necessary that reasonable and capable women and men take the time to discuss complex issues in an atmosphere of mutual understanding, which allows the exchange of information and seeks solutions, in an atmosphere of friendship. A community of diverse people, but who feel respect and admiration for each other and agree on the desire to improve and always go further.

 And that is also precisely the mission statement of media, communication and Politics: to remind us that there is a community. That we are, in fact, close to each other. That in a way that is as mysterious as it is real, we are in the same boat. That our land (rich also for its great political diversity, with seven parties represented in the Parliament) can function with great agreements. Who is willing to think about the common good? In our community, the important thing is not who solves the problems but that, together, we can solve them.