Today’s date is August 18, 2017. On human societies’ trail of Charlottesville and Barcelona, I wish to bring to mind another side of human behavior that has glued societies together throughout history. I’m talking about Common Courtesy, Manners and Chivalry. In other words, quoting Dr. P. M. Forni, Choosing Civility, The Twenty-five Rules of Considerate Conduct. “Consideration is imagination on a moral track.”
Participants in his John Hopkins Civility Project workshops have used the following words to describe what civility means to them.
Respect for others Community service Care
Tact Consideration Equality
Courtesy Sincerity Golden Rule
Morality Respect for other’s feelings Honesty
Niceness Awareness Politeness
Trustworthiness Maturity Table manners
Kindness Moderation Manners
Listening Being accommodating Compassions
Fairness Being agreeable Decency
Going out of one’s way Self-control Friendliness
Concern Lending a hand Tolerance
Selflessness Abiding by rules Good citizenship
Etiquette Justice Propriety
Please read Dr. Forni’s book for more on this subject. He quotes sayings by Emerson, Samuel Johnson and George Washington to name just a few, like this one . . .
“RUDENESS IS THE WEAK MAN’S IMITATION OF STRENGTH.”–Eric Hoffer
Another set of books I want to recommend are How to be a Lady by Candace Simpson-Giles and How to be a Gentleman by John Bridges. These books are contemporary, practical guides to common courtesy offering advice that is neither snobbish, boring or intimidating.
We need to slow down and take an accounting of ourselves with a good look in the mirror. I believe in activism within the parameters of common courtesy. Wrongly identifying a person from a photo is dirty pool, a show of weakness not strength. I vote to promote the strength of strong character built on a structure of moral imaginations. This is our world, folks. This is your life. I can imagine, fear disappearing as we adapt and enjoy the benefits we can reap from showing consideration to one another.