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.


This word for me is the most complex key word. Many of us understand and experience compassion, often applying it very successfully to people or situations outside of us. But how often do we have true compassion for ourselves? We set impossibly high standards for ourselves, and when we don’t reach them, we beat ourselves up. We need to give ourselves a break every once in a while. We are, after all, human beings. We all have frailties. We need to accept this and in fact embrace it. For without these inherent flaws, we would not be the unique and amazing individuals that we are.

This is especially important at work. We make different interpersonal connections at work than we do outside of work, with different people and under a completely different set of rules and dynamics. However the underlying principles do not differ. How we look at ourselves in relation to others carries through from one life experience to another. There is always a separation between one person and another because we do not know what is going on in anyone else’s life but our own. Everyone has his or her own challenges and struggles. We must take responsibility for ours. When we give ourselves a break, it enables us to give others a break, too. Be all deserve a break today!

“If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.” John F. Kennedy