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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Civility: Regaining a lost art

(Photo by Dhiriart)
Not too long ago, our family moved to a charming little village.  After frequenting a nearby establishment three days in a row, we were confronted by the curious shopkeeper.  He asked quite loudly, “Okay, who are you,
and what are you doing in this town?”

Thinking this was amusing, he laughed as we explained our newbie status to a small group of onlookers.  No harm done in the grand scheme of things, but we sure did feel embarrassed.

Is civility a lost art?  At times it certainly seems soBut thanks to Dr. Forni, “a mild and mannerly” Johns Hopkins University professor, civility is slowly regaining street cred.

Dr. Forni not only created the Johns Hopkins University Civility Project, but also authored a book titled Choosing Civility: The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct.  These rules of conduct include respecting other people’s time and space, speaking kindly and paying attention.

Why this emphasis upon civility?  Forni explains: Acts of violence are often the result of an exchange of acts of rudeness that spiral out of control.  Disrespect can lead to bloodshed.

When little things are neglected, big problems occur.  Basic acts of kindness can go a long way toward making this a more peaceful world.   


Copyright August 18, 2016 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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