The Gift of Civility - Revisited

Last year about this time I penned my first “Omblog” on the topic of civility. In that initial blog I proposed that even in a down economy there still are some gifts that would not hit you in the pocketbook. One financially free option was (and still is) the gift of civility. I’ll let you decide if you think the economic conditions have improved since last year. Nevertheless, here are ten additional rules from P.M. Forney’s book, Choosing Civility, which might contribute to your happiness as well as those around you.

  1. Be Inclusive - “Being inclusive means applying the principles of respect for persons to all persons. When it comes time to show respect and consideration to others, we do not pick and choose.”
  2. Don’t Speak Ill - “It is less demanding and less painful to point out other people’s problems---real or imaginary—than to try to solve our own.”
  3. Accept and Give Praise - “Surveys of opinion have shown over and over again that employees rank appreciation and recognition at the top of their lists of motivating factors in the workplace.”
  4. Respect Even a Subtle “No” - “One of the fundamental principles of decent behavior is to care enough for others not to make our problems theirs.”
  5. Keep It down (and Rediscover Silence) - “We often surround ourselves with chatter and sundry sounds because we don’t want to be alone with our thoughts. While noise takes us away from ourselves, through silence we build bridges to our own souls.”
  6. Respect Other People’s Space - “One of the most elementary ways of being considerate is by respecting personal space.”
  7. Be a Considerate Guest - “Not abusing the property of others (or of the community) is one of the ways in which we respect others. It is an essential part of being considerate guests, no matter where we are: in an airplane, in a friend’s home, in a movie theater, in a doctor’s office, in a public library, or in a public square.”
  8. Don’t Ask Personal Questions - “A good conversationalist makes the most of the information his or her companions volunteer.” 
  9. Apologize Earnestly - “Perfection not being of this world, however, apologies remains one of the most valuable resources of the fair and the considerate.”
  10. Listen – (Yes, it’s a repeat from last year, but it never gets old or easier)
  11. “What prevents us from doing a good job of listening is that instead of focusing on other people, we focus on ourselves and our own needs.”

Have a safe and enjoyable holiday!