Saving Civility: 52 Ways to Tame Rude, Crude and Attitude for a Polite Planet
By Sara Hacala is a pathbreaking book with 52 practices and ideas for enabling us to become emissaries of civility in these contentious times. The author, a certified etiquette and protocol consultant, outlines the attitudes necessary to restore civility in American society where it is increasingly under fire from many directions. She believes that true change can only come when we all do our part "to shape a more civilized society and a politer planet," and counsels us to ponder our own behavior at home, at work, and in public.
OTHER RECOMMENDED BOOKS
A Book of Courtesy: The Art of Living with Yourself and Others by Mary Mercedes offers a code of conduct based on dignity, thoughtfulness, and kindness that can be used publicly and privately. Now more than ever we need a revival of courtesy to lubricate interactions between people.
Choosing Civility: The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct by P.M. Forni establishes the importance of kindness, courtesy, and manners in everyday activities. This watershed work helps us see a connection between rampant incivility and a diminished quality of life and make concerted efforts to bring about the changes so many of us seem ready to welcome.
Civility: Manners, Morals, and the Etiquette of Democracy by Stephen L. Carter posits civility as a habit of the heart that engenders awe in the presence of our fellow humans. It is a social lubricant — "the sum of the many sacrifices we are called to make for the sake of living together."
How We Behave at the Feast: Reflections on Living in an Age of Plenty by Dwight Currie reminds us that we luxuriate in pleasures once reserved only for royalty and need to remember our manners. The author sees civility as one of the most precious resources of the twenty-first century.
In Defense of Civility: How Religion Can Unite America on Seven Moral Issues That Divide Us by James Calvin Davis challenges religious communities to model civility and to enrich political discourse in America. The author suggests that religious people can enlarge the context for thinking about moral issues and give voice to the "quiet middle" rather than the divisive extremes.
Say Please, Say Thank You: The Respect We Owe One Another by Donald McCullough opens up a wide repertoire of practices that can serve as an antidote to the incivility of our times. These include upholding the standard of punctuality, waiting your turn in line, being generous with tips, respecting elders, valuing the property of others, and paying your debts.
Walking on the Wind: Cherokee Teachings on Harmony and Balance by Michael Garrett is a supple and enlightening resource on this Native American path. The author aims to help us "walk the path of good medicine," which means to be in harmony with the universe and its sacred rhythms.
A World Waiting to Be Born: Civility Rediscovered by M. Scott Peck offers insights into this noble community goal. The author believes that "consciously motivated organizational behavior that is ethical in submission to a Higher Power" can serve as an antidote to amoral and narcissistic behavior.