October 7, 2012 Redux in 2016

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Oct. 7 ~ Civility allows for the “benefit of the doubt,” a response of hope. #civility

*I know it’s getting hard to be hopeful, but we can do it!


Civility has everything to do with  hope, and giving the benefit of the doubt is often the first seed of hope that is sown in disagreement. When you give the benefit of the doubt you assume that the other person is not evil or irredeemable, even as they speak a position or opinion that is antithetical to your own.

When you do this you allow for many things to happen… you allow for them to nuance the things they have said. You allow them to keep speaking so that you might better understand them. You allow them to be a “work in progress.” And if we are serious about communication, then we recognize the progress needed by all of us.

Giving the benefit of the doubt also keeps the judgmental expressions off our faces. It keeps us from simply walking away. It keeps us from shutting down and giving up hope, and hope can be contagious. If we keep our hope alive, it just might spread and grow.

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