Seven Ingredients of Civility

What exactly does it mean to be civil? On each day of Civility Week, we'll spotlight a different aspect of civility. It's all about respect, consideration, and kindness. Our seven points are inspired by P.M. Forni's book Choosing Civility: The 25 Rules of Considerate Conduct.

  • Tune in. Be aware of the needs of others.

  • Think the best. Give the benefit of the doubt.

  • Speak kindly. Your words have power. 

  • Be inclusive. Respect all points of view.

  • Own up. Admit mistakes and make a fresh start.

  • Stay cool. Don’t answer rudeness with rudeness.

  • Start something. Small kindnesses can spread.

In his book, P.M. Forni says, “Choosing civility means choosing to do the right thing for others—for the ‘city.’ The byproduct of doing justice to others is the enrichment of our own lives.”

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Choosing Civility, book cover

“Just about the most important thing we do in life is interacting with other human beings. Shouldn’t improving the quality of this interaction be at the top of our agendas?”

P.M. Forni, author of Choosing Civility