Difference, then, it seems, can lead us in one of two directions – towards an increased competitiveness that can lead to mistrust and division, or to the open recognition of difference, and the possibility of understanding and even co-operation.

 True co-operation, however, requires a com­mitment to listening: a quality of listening that can turn strangers into friends.

This is a listening that recognises and celebrates difference, whilst being concerned to maintain the integrity of ‘the other’; which recognises that if we were totally the same, we would have nothing to say to each other!

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