A Call for Enduring Civility

By | 2017-01-13T13:42:18+00:00 January 14th, 2011|Categories: Respectful Workplace|Tags: |1 Comment

Earlier this week, along with over 30 million other viewers, I watched President Obama’s heartfelt speech at the memorial for the Tucson shooting victims. Like his predecessors after similar national tragedies, The President of the United States called on us all, as Americans, to make a change for the better.

But will we?

We’ve been down many similar roads and seemed to have failed and went back to our old ways.

Remember 9/11? Of course, you do. You probably even remember exactly where you were when you heard the news. I know I do. I was living in Washington, DC, and on that fateful day, working on the top floor of a building just 2 blocks away from the White House. I can still remember looking out the window, after hearing the news, and seeing people running from that iconic building.

So, I am sure that you also remember the days, and even weeks after that tragic day, when everyone was just a little nicer to everyone else. People, who normally greeted you with a scowl, smiled. But after awhile we all went back to our old ways.

Then, remember just two years ago, I questioned whether we had reached the end of diversity training? Well, I can safely say that we have received no shortage of requests for diversity training. In fact, the inquiries have increased substantially since then.

So what will it take for us to be truly civil and respectful to one another in the long run?

I’ll leave you with a suggestion from the president’s speech:

We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another, that’s entirely up to us. And I believe that for all our imperfections, we are full of decency and goodness, and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us.


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About the Author:

Melanie Sklarz
Melanie Sklarz was the the web content and social media coordinator as well as the lead blog writer for the RespectfulWorkplace.com website. She has a MA in Women’s Studies from the Ohio State University. For more information, visit melaniesklarz.com.

One Comment

  1. Patrick Ross January 14, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Melanie, this is a touching and thoughtful blog. I agree with the President that there is a lot of goodness in all of us. It just seems sometimes we need to remind ourselves of that, look for the good in others, and remember to express our own.

    On a personal note, I was in the US Capitol at the time of the attack. We evacuated ourselves because the Capitol Police had no idea what was going on. I can remember all of the members of Congress a day or two later gathering together on the Capitol steps, vowing to work together more harmoniously. Well, it was nice for a day, anyway. 🙂

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