Can we be civil?


For months we have observed the anger, disrespect, and conflict play out in astronomical proportions. Some have attributed to racial injustice and some to Covid 19 and lack of social interaction or leadership. Regardless, ask yourself, can we calm down and breathe for a minute? At this point, is it possible to listen? I realize tempers are running hot. Is it possible to re-group and re-build? We are civilized people. I want to think that most are good people. We are in real trouble with our communication style. To be an effective communicator, you need to spend more time listening than speaking. When you extend respect to another person and most of the time, you learn. Currently, we are not listening. I wonder if we are ever going to be able to listen and speak to each other without offensive banter?

Will we ever listen to one another instead of being so focused on what we want to say?

There are so many distress topics and so many individuals who seem to want to hurt someone or something. How do we reach these individuals? Can they be reached? Is it possible to rain things in a bit and consider the other side? Is it possible to compromise without feeling like you’re selling out your side? Can there be transparency and explanations for why things are conducted a certain way to understand better?

I do feel like we are all angry because either we don’t know enough about both sides or because we don’t know enough, period.

I wish we could all breathe a bit and think about our young people. So many are already so upset and angry. This behavior cannot help them. Watching what they are seeing and handling ourselves is sending a terrible message to the next generation. They are our future. They will learn from our victories and our mistakes.

I know the squeaky wheel gets the grease, but can we tame the squeak enough to work on some civil solutions? I hope so.

Colleen Harding is a certified etiquette and protocol instructor and the founder of the Cleveland School of Etiquette and Corporate Protocol. Programs and packages available for children and businesses.