I’ve decided to proclaim 2014 as the year of civility here at The Space Between My Ears. I want to highlight examples and writings that display respectful interactions between folks who disagree with each other about topics they deem important. We need to remind ourselves to see our neighbors as our neighbors and not as sub-human because they hold different values than we do. My hope is not to downplay our differences, but to draw attention to folks who find ways to truly listen to what others have to say, appreciate alternative positions, and respectfully disagree. Given that in the U.S. we have a midterm election in November, I know I need a booster shot of civility before the political rhetoric grows even more rancorous.
More than simply celebrating examples of civility, I hope and pray that by focusing on this important virtue, that I will become more civil toward others. I hope that I can truly listen with an intent to learn and first focus on areas of agreement before moving to disagreement. I probably won’t get to be a cable news pundit following this route, but I’m OK with that.
I also plan to read Richard Mouwe’s short book, Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Otherwise Uncivil World. Perhaps it will be a book club feature at some point so that folks who are also interested in this book can read it in an online community.
I created a category, Civility Project, for easy access to the posts on the topic.