Incivility seems to invade all aspects of our society. There is road rage, social media bullying, and hostile work, school and public environments. It can incite violence, threaten lives, cost money, and end in the loss of friends and even family members. It can cause personal anxiety and depression.
In the written words of George Washington’s in his Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation. “Every action done in company ought to be with some sign of respect to those present. This leads to better behavior among people.”
Civility begins with listening to others politely, respectfully and with an awareness of one’s preconceptions. A civil conversation with an individual who has opposing opinions may reduce anger, verbal violence, or other negative repercussions. Begin by focusing on what the other person is saying and not your rebuttal. Avoid a loud voice, angry body language or interruptions. Request time to express your side on the issue and why you believe it. As a last resort to avoid confrontations withdraw stating “let us agree to disagree.” Then end the interaction.
Modeling civility may encourage more understanding and empathy with one person with opposing views. Although, it is a slow process it is a positive step in healing the anger and divineness in our society.
NOTABLE WOMAN - EDITH CLARK 1883-1959
She was born into a prosperous family, one of nine children. Orphaned at age 12 she was raised by an older sister. She used her inheritance to attend Vassar graduating with degrees in mathematics and astronomy. She later received a Master of Science degree from MIT. She worked for a short time at AT&T as a “Computorial” Assistant then began working at GE focusing on the transmission of electricity. In 1921 she left GE to teach physics at a women’s college in Turkey. She returned to GE working as an Electrical Engineer. She developed a break through in the extension of transmission lines. She wrote many scientific papers, an Electrical Engineering college textbook, and received two patents on electrical power transmission.
In 1947 Clarke left GE to teach Electrical Engineering at the University of Texas, Austin, where she became the first female Electrical Engineering professor. She was the first woman to be elected a fellow of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and in 1954 to receive a lifetime Achievement Award.