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The Civility Handbook — A Path to Collective Consciousness


There is only one way to heal in our contentious world: by coming together, not through increased division and vitriol. On the journey that all of us take, heading toward the same desired destination of peace and harmoniousness, some of these thoughts might be instructive —irrespective of political, cultural, religious, socioeconomic, or racial identity or other immutable characteristics:


  1. Treat all living beings with respect—every life matters.

  2. Walk placidly amid dissension. The loudest voice isn’t always the most righteous and just.

  3. Bring something unique to the table — an idea, an innovation, a song. Every voice has its place.

  4. Understand the inevitability of disagreement. It need not divide, but rather, has the potential to forge fascinating alliances.

  5. Be an instrument of conciliation. By example, the sage can teach those that have yet to learn.

  6. Do not fear the “enemy.” Be a friend.

  7. Acknowledge that by some dint of fate or fortune – good or ill — we can all be each other. Today’s king can be tomorrow’s pauper — and vice versa.

  8. If someone espouses an offensive concept or opinion, counterbalance it with a kind word.

  9. Know that words matter and have consequences, so treat “the other” kindly. S/he is you, and you are s/he.

  10. Find a common language — not necessarily in spoken words, but a language of the heart. Reach out, and everyone will understand without a translation.

  11. Make virtue a priority without being arrogant or dogmatic. Remember, every well-meaning opinion has value.

  12. Honor others’ mission and purpose, and encourage the fulfillment of dreams. Goodwill travels in an infinite regress.

  13. Humility never signals weakness, but the converse – supreme empowerment.

  14. Honor the rule of law, also knowing that it can breathe. Everything is interpretative. Various opinions make for a great marketplace of ideas, just as various flowers make up an exquisite garden.

  15. Celebrate differences of every kind, and smile as you assimilate and meld into the beautiful tapestry of humanity.



© Gabriella Gafni

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