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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Good Tip, George

"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not?" - George Bernard Shaw

While driving and reflecting on a recent personal encounter, I glanced at the inspection sticker on my windshield and thought why not?

Why couldn't there be a process where all of us have an annual civility inspection? If we fail, we receive a red sticker to wear and must be re-inspected within a month. If we don't get re-inspected in time and are subsequently caught being uncivil, we're fined. Why not?

Who does the inspections, you ask? All of us know people who are rarely uncivil to others; these folks are often the same ones who don't talk trash behind the backs of others. One of my oldest friends is someone like this. I say we give the job to people like her. I'm certain I'm not qualified, how about you? And being subject to an annual inspection could be just the thing to help me get my act together civility-wise. What do you think? Why not?


  1. Civility is not always a virtue.

    "Always be ready to speak your mind, and a base man will avoid you."
    --William Blake

  2. In response to the first comment, I cannot think of any instance where civility would not be virtuous...and speaking your mind, whether or not the other person likes what you have to say, doesn't imply incivility. In fact, it can be quite the opposite. Often the hardest things to hear offer the best opportunity for growth. And the "base man" will avoid you because it is in his nature to avoid that which offends him by requiring his growth.

    But what I really came on to write is that Pat, your idea is great! What if each of us had the ability and desire to personally reflect daily on our interactions with others, without the need for the Inspection Committee. This type of daily inventory could do wonders, as we begin each new day equipped with the wisdom we gained the night before. In my teaching of children with Emotional Disturbances I have come to know that even the most uncivilized can become personally aware of their incivilities, and learn to treat others with a level of respect. d.

  3. d; I was trying to think of an instance where civility wasn't a virtue and was coming up blank. I'm now thinking the anonymous quote by William Blake could be a good one for a future installment in my "Messing With Maxims" series. Whaddya think? Thanks for sharing your anecdote re working with kids with emotional disturbances; very telling.