October 26, 2012 Redux in 2016

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Oct. 26 ~ Civility includes mastery of the basic courtesies: please, thank you, you’re welcome. #civility

Indeed, simple courtesies are the building blocks of civil discourse. These small habits engender a sense of dignity to a conversation and display an intrinsic respect for the other participants.

Want to build personal credibility? Be thankful and gracious when you speak to people. Even in moments of disagreement being courteous allows the discourse solid traction to keep moving forward.

Somewhere along the way someone started acting like “being right” completely overshadowed “acting right” or “speaking right.” The idea caught on, and a win at all costs attitude developed in our manner of discourse and disagreement that leaves no room for courtesies. It looks and acts something like this: “If I am right, then you are wrong, and therefore you are not deserving of my courtesies, and I am not obligated to be courteous, especially if my good manners might steal some of the impact of my superior ideas.” Sound like anyone on the radio you’ve heard recently? I’ve heard that attitude spoken on both sides of the aisle, right and left!

A Presbyterian friend of mine once made a self-deprecating joke about his denomination’s tendency to be slow to adopt changes and fast to assemble committees for long and multiple meetings, he said, “We Presbyterians are the ones who can miss an opportunity to do right because we’re so focussed on doing it right. I get what he’s saying, and I can chuckle with him at the joke, but I also have to give some grudging respect to the attitude of doing things well.

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