Civility - ...the act of showing regard for others by being polite, like the civility you showed in speaking kindly to someone who has hurt your feelings. Civility comes from the Latin word civilis, meaning"relating to public life, befitting a citizen," in other words, being friendly and nice to everyone. Source: Vocabulary.Com

This may be one of the most difficult topics to embrace.

When we began to exert tremendous energy to make our government listen to us, to make intelligent, reasoned arguments on neighborhood-friendly public policy issues, getting them to work for the benefit of ordinary Nashvillians we often got brushed off, called bad names and maybe the worst of all, laughed at. Humiliating us by pushing forward with the same good ol' boy politics, created, quite literally, in smoke filled rooms.

It was clear that we were going to have to be very pointed, very noisy and very repetitious. This often translated into a demeanor that was often seen as uncivil, improper, and not catering to Southern Sensibilities (like burning crosses).

Loud, brash, voices pitching the naked truth, attacking them for their history, employer, habits, and specific policy actions. We had to do it, the tortoise was not going to win this race, and you could only get media coverage when you were on the right side of an issue on a recurring basis and becoming none for "fighting" for the little guy. None of that was hard because we were on the side of the angels.

Today we are in a significantly different environment. Our efforts were fairly successful, even if it took 20 years, so maybe it is time to use the civility model in our roles in the 21st century. It isn't about giving into anybody's ideas, it means we listen and make note of the arguments that others make. When done we could acknowledge their points and continue on with how our solution might work better.

Even better, we might be able to find a piece of their interests, and add them into ours. Certainly could be interesting.

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