This trend has been building for a long time and it needs to stop. When we forget that we are all one species, one tribe, we begin to behave like lemmings: rushing toward the cliff. We need to learn how to disagree again. All my lifetime, we have, actually, been a country split more or less down the middle, between right and left, conservative and liberal. I grew up in a family that was split. But, as a family, we knew how to agree to disagree. We knew that love came first. We knew that we were members of the human tribe. We knew that whatever our opinions, sometimes we would get our way and sometimes we would not. We learned the fine arts of compromise and civil debate.
The Civility Project, a nascent, national initiative, is artfully designed to help build communities and restore civil discourse. Community building and civil response, regardless of political belief, will be encouraged through:
- •Local and national distribution of artwork that encourages non-violent communication
- •Opportunities for gathering and conversation
- •Networking across the United States with others who long for peace and civility in their neighborhoods and governmental units.
The Civility Project is designed to support free speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, the unfettered right to vote and encourages non-violent language especially in areas of disagreement. The Civility Project promotes understanding between opposing groups through the encouragement of story sharing and deep listening.
The Civility Project will produce new initiatives approximately every two months or as needed. It will create local events for community building and will create distribution networks to distribute tools that will support a return to civil conversation. The Civility Project says, "Let's Talk. Across tribal lines. Let's talk, even in frustration, without name calling. Let's talk and let's REALLY listen. If we can hear each other, understand each other, recognize each other's needs, we might be able to live in harmony again. We would no longer be winners or losers, haters or lovers. We would be just people who share a common humanity, who agree and disagree, but are willing to build communities of understanding."