Civility = Common Sense

Civility has been replaced by cynicisms in our society. One reason is civility has been diminished in our schools and cynicism is being fostered by the media. Free speech is caught in a vice. It is the heritage of American citizens.

On one hand we are told opposition to a certain political figure is not accepted dialogue. In this way the public figure is insulated from criticism and opposing voices silenced.

Conversely, abusers of the right of free speech think they have the right to use any tone and say anything they want at any time.

The reason for this milieu is a lack of understanding of civility. An over simplistic definition of civility is acting toward each other in a courteous way. There is such a lack of civility even the word “civil” needs to be defined for some. It is adhering to norms of polite social intercourse; not being deficient in common courtesy. Civility means to show courtesy, that is, behave yourself, show manners.

If it is not taught at home, schools have little chance of teaching it. The entertainment media is teaching many youths that their combative conduct is the civil norm.

When added to the word “government,” as in civil government, then it relates to the standards set for orderly government. Most people have little or no understanding of the civil order of a democratic republic such as ours. Basically it is defined in our Constitution and Amendments. It is how statesmen are to get along and do business civilly. It embodies such things as decorum, protocol, dignity, grace, courtesy, and etiquette. Professional manners might be a good way to explain it.

As a child I can remember my grandparents talking about the fact members of congress would never “tell on one another.” Now many of them exploit each other.

There is room for civil debate. It is essential for forging truth and reaching appropriate decisions. However, personal assaults are an affront to civility.

In our personal relationships as well as in civil government for there to be civility we must deal with principles not personalities; issues not individuals.

“That is a nutty idea” is a much more civil expression than “You are nuts.”

Societal civility involves social concern, social responsibility, and social involvement.

Among the general population do you see concern for one another in general? Has me-ism replaced a sense of “one nation?”

Has a sense of entitlement taken the place of social responsibility?

Has isolation prevailed over social involvement?

A sense of being overwhelmed by personal affronts, insults, and assaults causes many to feel helpless regarding being a change agent. Start by making your sphere of influence a civility zone and work out from there.

If in standing for Jesus you are met with a lack of civility you should be encouraged and feel sorry for such an uncivil person. In response show holy boldness with grace.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,”