Upcoming Event at Carmel Clay Public Library to Highlight the Importance of Being Civil

Writer / Jeff Worrell
Photography Provided

As I reflect on the recent election and current state of our republic, clearly, respect for government is at an all-time low. As aCarmel Clay Public Library person who asked the people of Carmel to vote for me instead of my opponent, I find myself wondering, can we do better? Is it possible to shift the attitude in Carmel towards a greater respect for all? Could Carmel not just be known for roundabouts, but just as famous for a community that values, promotes and practices a greater sense of civility? Can we join hands and make a change?

The first step towards reaching that distinction will take place at 6 p.m. on January 10 at the Carmel Clay Public Library. It is there that we will gather and turn the microphone over to Alexandra Hudson, author of the bestselling book, “The Soul of Civility.” She is eager to share her wisdom, and provide the tools necessary to make corrections and implement a cultural shift.

But what is civility? Many people, myself included, get civility confused with being polite. Civility is not just about being nice to people. Hudson advocates for her view that we can disagree and carry out brutally honest conversations with people we perhaps don’t even like. But while doing so, we must see every person as our moral equal and worthy of respect, with our conduct motivated by seeing others as beings, endowed with dignity and inherently valuable.

Not to make this too simple, but if we respect and appreciate those with whom we disagree, the urge to harm, punish, win or embarrass disappears. Instead, I can more easily seek common ground and understanding. Influenced by curiosity, I can participate in a constructive debate, to learn and become enlightened without exhibiting anger.

I am going to ask Carmel to rediscover a general regard for our fellow citizens. “Civility demands that we revive the basic respect we are all owed and that we owe to one another as members of the human community,” Hudson preaches. And I fully agree.

Carmel Clay Public LibraryI firmly believe our children and grandchildren watch us closely. I hope they will witness our sincere efforts to change the way we treat one another, not just locally and regionally, but perhaps even nationally. I hope you will take this first step with me, and together we can reinvigorate a community where civility becomes the norm and sets an example for others to follow.

To register for January 10, please go to carmelclaylibrary.org/event/9772501.

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