Civility is described as: a polite act or expression (Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus). In today’s society this idea seems to have taken on a character of it’s own. Wouldn’t it be nice if courtesy and civility were interchangeable. It could be our calling card. We could be kind to people that we meet and be sociable at the same time. Each person who met us would believe that we valued their opinion and truly wanted to spend time with them.
When we sit down with a person to have a face-to-face conversation, we could look them in the eye, respond both verbally and physically to their comments, wait until they are done talking, respond appropriately to their statements and engage them in a meaningful conversation. As a very famous person once said – “You can’t underestimate the power of primal needs.” Everyone is hungry and wants to be valued, listened to, and understood. If a person repeatedly gets ignored or beaten down when they nicely state their cause, they will become louder and louder in their delivery method. This behavior quickly becomes erratic.
People become overwhelmed with emotion and their perspective fades into a cloud of grey annoying chatter. This verbosity mixes with other babble from other ignored, emotional mortals geared toward hubris and the air is filled with opinions, ideas, feelings, judgments, conclusions and estimations that stray far afield from truth.
So, let’s all take it down a few notches. Maybe you didn’t like the past but ponder a minute on what you would like the future to look like. Maybe the purpose of your next conversation is to determine what the other person really believes instead of trying to win the conversation or convert the listener or belittle them in public. Albert Einstein may have posed this thought: “I think that the most important question facing humanity is, Is the universe a friendly place?” You decide.