Be the Change #39: Revive Civility

Are you worried that the talk will turn to the dreaded topic of politics at your holiday events?  So are a lot of other people.  A recent poll found that 75% of Americans feel that civil discourse has reached a dangerous low in the United States.  Count me in that 75%.  But, I don’t think we should be afraid to talk about issues that are important to our nation and, ultimately, our own individual lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren.  And neither does the National Institute for Civil Discourse. The Institute includes on its Board two former Presidents:  Republican George H. W. Bush and Democrat Bill Clinton, as well as two former Secretaries of State, two former Senators and several prominent journalists.

Check out the Institute’s website here:  REVIVECIVILITY.ORG

The site includes guidance about how to have a civil political discussion 1:1 or in a small group (hint:  it involved a lot more listening than lecturing).  It also offers the opportunity to pledge yourself to civility, and a discussion guide specific to those uncomfortable political discussions that come up at holiday parties.

The worst thing we can do it yell at each other and call each other names.  But the second worst thing we can do is not talk about politics at all, and leave it all to the worst people, the ones who don’t mind yelling and calling names.  Be brave.  Take a small step towards bringing back civil discourse in your own circle of family and friends this holiday season and into the new years.

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