January 20, 2009

American Values-Choose Civility Part 5/5

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So what are “American Values”? I am sure this term, as does the term Family Values, means different things to different people. For me, it embodies FREEDOM AND CHOICES, EMPOWERMENT and PERMISSION TO BECOME. I love how these themes are so eloquently captured in our Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

From the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

I love that as Americans, we have a lot of power. We have the power to get involved in our political process; the power to raise our children as we see fit and the power for to stand up for our personal choices. We also have the power to DO SOMETHING to make our country and community better.

How is our family going to make the country better? We are choosing CIVILITY.

There is a movement in my town based on P.M. Forni’s, Civility Project.

Mr. P.M. Forni, so eloquently identifies the following rules of being civil, in his book, “Choosing Civility, The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct’.

The Rules
1. Pay Attention
2. Acknowledge Others
3. Think the Best
4. Listen
5. Be Inclusive
6. Speak Kindly
7. Don’t Speak Ill
8. Accept and Give Praise
9. Respect even a Subtle “No”
10. Respect Others’ Opinions
11. Mind your Body
12. Be Agreeable
13. Keep It Down (and Rediscover Silence)
14. Respect Other Peoples Time
15. Respect Other Peoples Space
16. Apologize Earnestly
17. Assert Yourself
18. Avoid Personal Questions
19. Care for Your Guests
20. Be a Considerate Guest
21. Think Twice Before Asking for Favors
22. Refrain from Idle Complaints
23. Accept and Give Constructive Criticism
24. Respect the Environment and Be Gentle to Animals
25. Don’t Shift Responsibility and Blame

Our family will study these RULES and do our best at being Civil. These rules summarize how I aspire to behave and how I desire my children to behave.

As we usher in our new President Elect Obama today, I encourage all of us to take note of these civility rules. There is nothing wrong with a good debate on issues or disagreeing with the politics of our neighbors, friends, relatives, or government. In fact, it is what has made this country so great. Even though I did not vote for the current President Elect-Obama, and disagree with some of his philosophies, I sincerely VOTE for him now. I vote for the feeling in the “air”. I vote for young people waking up to what this country can be. I vote for the feeling that ANYONE can do ANYTHING they set out to do, as demonstrated by our 1st African American President. I vote for his call to service and I believe that this country can change by this tenant alone. I RESPECT any person who has taken on the role of President and choose to BELIEVE in the best of what President Obama has proposed. I also believe that if there is something I don’t agree with, I have the right to get involved in a CIVIL way. I do believe that President Obama will do his best to keep our country safe and to inspire us all to a new standard in CIVILITY and SERVICE. At 12 noon today, President Obama will be MY President. I TREASURE being an AMERICAN, and choose to be a POSITIVE part of why this country is so great.

Congratulations Mr. President. God Speed.

To view the rest of the America Week series:
Part 1.
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

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Comments (2)

Jessica said:

Welcome to the Momversation! I believe I happened by your site once before, it only had a few posts on it, but your Dreambook jumped out at me. You have cute style!

So, a gentlemen’s farm and a blog strategy company, hmm? Are those two enterprises even legal?


Meg said:

Very well said, Shawn. May civility and diplomacy guide every heart, every home, and every aspect of our lives.


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