Towards Deeper Conversations
It strikes me that a common thread weaves through this issue: we need to have better conversations to build better relationships.
In “All of Us Can Break the Cycle of Hatred” (in the print edition only), Professor Arthur Brooks and the Dalai Lama share their thoughts on “the appropriate way to disagree with others.” We can, they argue, master ourselves and respond to others with love even when we sense contempt in them. (By the way, I am delighted to feature the work of two such distinguished contributors.)
We have an example of healthy dialogue right before our eyes in these pages. In our Commentary section, RC Tarun Galagali and Professor Kevin Sharer share their reactions to the Business Roundtable’s new Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation. Both Galagali and Sharer ask big, important questions of us. I hope that their articles generate fruitful discussion on this campus (and not only among those of us who have already taken LCA!).
In his analysis of the evolving tensions in Hong Kong, Ian Tracy calls for a conversation between Hong Kong and mainland China. To borrow Brooks and the Dalai Lama’s terminology, it is not inevitable that the two sides in this situation will see each other as enemies. (Someday, perhaps, HBS students will read a BGIE case that depicts the meeting that Tracy envisions. Only time will tell.)
We also hear this month from our Student Association co-presidents. Gaby Goldstein and Connor Cash talk about how they want us to be able to deepen our connections with each other. (That, after all, is one of the major reasons we came to HBS, is it not?) Kindness and respect for differences are key ingredients of the culture that will enable those connections.
Another ingredient is speaking up about our hopes and needs. In my article on Reciprocity Rings, RCs comment on how helpful it was to do that in a structured activity during START. We can hope that the positive effects of that activity will last for their whole two years at this school.
And on that note, welcome, RCs! As you have probably figured out by now, the Harbus is our newspaper. Here on the staff of the paper, it is our pleasure and privilege to bring the voices of HBS students to each other and to the rest of the world. You have probably heard enough by now in START and in the rest of this issue about speaking up. Well, this paper is your place to do it! I hope that you will consider contributing your stories to our pages.
Let us come back to Brooks and the Dalai Lama: it starts with you. How will you “break the cycle of hatred” here at HBS and in the world beyond?
Gabriel Ellsworth (MBA ’20) came to HBS from HBS, where he worked for five years as a research associate, most recently as a casewriter with a faculty member in the Strategy Unit. This summer, he interned as a consultant with the Boston office of Bain & Company. He read English literature as an undergraduate at Yale, where he also studied Japanese and French. In addition to the Harbus, he is involved in the HBS Show. As a young boy, he fantasized about becoming a novelist, but he quickly realized that he did not actually have any ideas for novels.