During the Peace Fellowship discussions September 2, Del Benson shared lessons from a fun little book by Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, which simplifies very complex reasons to be just, mannerly, and civil with others.  If only the world could live by a range of simple ideas like: Share everything; Play fair; Don't hit people; Put things back where you found them; and CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESS!  Discussion, as always, was lively, and civil...
Lloyd Thomas raised questions about the nature of our protests and political discussions and whether our differences can be expressed in a more respectful manner. In his writing he asked: “What is civility?  How is it expressed?  Of what value is it?  What does incivility mean?  How can civility be taught?  How can civil discourse contribute to the development of a civil (peaceful?) society? The issues around today’s civility are much more complex than politeness or good manners.  And they are not new.  Such respect is first learned through the language and behaviors exemplified by parents and teachers of children.
 
Del Benson noted that the concept of justice represents honest communications, fair behaviors, ethical treatment, peaceful outcomes, and genuine respect for people. Civility describes a citizen with orderly behavior. The sense of politeness arose in language during the mid-16th century.  Of course, not everyone is a citizen. Order takes many forms.  Politeness has different meanings around the world. Interacting thoughtfully with others is important and civil.