Civility is not something that automatically happens. Civil societies come about because people want them to." –Jimmy Bise Jr, Us and Them: A Blog conversation Survival Guide, SXSW 2006
It’s true that civility doesn’t just happen, just like morality doesn’t just happen or kindness, forgiveness. All of these virtues need work to bring them about and to keep them in society. In the age of technology, machines that can do a lot of our work, I think sometimes we have forgotten that there are things in this world and in our society that take work, they cannot be ignored and thought to go forward by themselves.
We are all constantly learning how to walk. Did you realize that? We learned how to walk when we were babies, crawling, cruising, the tottering step and finally, freedom!!! Running! But as we age, we find ourselves concentrating on walking still. We take it for granted until we have an injury and need a crutch, an Ace bandage, a wheelchair. Then once again we must re-learn how to walk. Sometimes it’s arthritis that makes us look at how we walk, or over exercising, running or sports. We begin to examine how we walk, look at the shoes we wear. How can we get comfortable walking again?
Civility is like that. We have had it in society for so long and now we gone and broken or sprained it. It’s not un-repairable, but it hurts and we need to fix it by reminding ourselves to be civil and help others be civil especially our kids and students because they should not inherit something broken!