Thursday, November 7, 2013
Nice Guys and Civility
I am still studying P.M. Forni's book on civility.
I think that civility requires a commitment to listening, to fact, to moving beyond emotional reaction, and above all, to being kind. It is very hard to keep this commitment, especially when other parties to discussions these days are everything BUT.
However, civility extends beyond political discourse. It is about taking time for each other. Caring for each other. Acknowledging each other. Respecting each other as fellow human beings, walking together on this journey through life.
How can we bring each other forward if we can't even talk to each other?
From the passage by E.M. Forster in his essay "What I Believe":
"I believe in aristocracy . . . if that is the right word, and if a democrat may use it. Not an aristocracy of power, based upon rank and influence, but an aristocracy of the sensitive, the considerate, and the plucky. Its members are to be found in all nations and all classes, and all through the ages, and there is a secret understanding between them when they meet. They represent the true human tradition, the one permanent victory of our queer race over cruelty and chaos. Thousands of them perish in obscurity, a few are great names. They are sensitive for others, as for themselves, they are considerate without being fussy, their pluck is not swankiness but the power to endure, and they can take a joke."