I believe in Civility. Not the civility that says I dare not disagree with your point-of-view. I believe in the civility that says I may disagree but if I do I will honor and respect your right to hold to your own opinion. We seem to have lost that civil voice. The shock-jocks and opinion-mongers seem to have co-opted the American vision but I believe it can be regained. I believe this because I have found that there are millions of Americans who are just waiting for an opportunity to make a difference. I believe that these Americans can provide a better quality of life for all people within their communities and it doesn’t matter what your political affiliation is, it matters only that you have a heart that cares. In addition, I believe these Americans can be more efficient and effective through uniting with a common vision, purpose, and approach. This vision, purpose, and approach will create a process for constructive planned action. The process does not recognize conservative or liberal, it only recognizes humanity and the essential goodness of God’s creation.
I believe that we need a process for improving our communities, and ultimately our entire world, that is founded in civility. To that end, I offer this civility pledge which is derived from a book I co-authored with Kent Roberts titled Bring a Dish to Pass: The Civil Action of Community Improvement.
In all of my daily interactions I pledge to do my best to:
View everyone in positive terms
Work on building common language
Build strong relationships of trust
Remember our shared humanity
Value both the process and the results
Look both inside and outside for guidance
Through this pledge I acknowledge that:
“Everyone has the right and the responsibility to improve his or her community, and if we all work together—in a well planned way, addressing the factors that affect all of our lives—we can make a difference for all families. As members of society, we are all resources and agents of change.”
I believe that we, the everyday people, can change our world and that it will be done through “civil action.” I believe it will be millions of people, learning to pull together and causing a ground swell of connections on a heart-to-heart level. These connections will lead to fundamental changes in how we relate to one another. I believe that no matter what our background, beliefs, and philosophies are, there are more similarities than differences. I believe that when we look for what we have in common we will see something amazing in the eyes of others; we will see ourselves.
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