Over the past few years I have developed what I refer to as the Six Pillars of Civility. Over the next few months I am going to explore these six qualities, which in my opinion, are crucial to maintaining a civilized society. The qualities are important not only to a society, but also to the communities in which we live, work, and play. I hope these words will give you pause to think about how each of these qualities resonates with you.


Responsibility is critical for all interactions with our fellow human beings. Have you ever noticed how often people fail to take responsibility for their own actions, but rarely hesitate to let other people exactly what they should be doing?

There are times when we do not take responsibility for our actions, nor are we willing to accept the consequences for those actions. This leads to resistance and manifests in pain, fatigue, and confusion. No matter what our situation may be, we almost always share some responsibility, sometimes a lot, sometimes a little; and discovering this unlocks the mysteries to many of life’s quandaries.

Of course, there is a flipside to every coin, and this one is ‘mind your own business’. As much as we think we know what’s best for others, it’s not our responsibility to make their choices for them. Allow people to make the right choice – for themselves.

In the business arena, misplaced responsibility – as I refer to it – is disastrous! My best advice to err on the side of taking as much personal responsibility as is reasonably possible for any situation in which you find yourself where conflict of any kind is present. Also, avoid like the plague giving your unsolicited opinion on how others should behave. Don’t forget the law of physics that states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This is going to happen whether we force it or not.

What do you do when you experience such conflict?