While I was writing the book Restoring Civility, I learned something I never realized. Respect is contagious. It is caught way more than taught.
So what do I think the book will do for you? I think it will challenge your values—what you think is important. It will help you more clearly define your priorities. In the process, it will raise your consciousness about respect. It will fine tune your behavior in a way that benefits you and everyone you encounter.
My hope is that the book will strengthen your beliefs. If you don’t believe in God, it will give you a new perspective on Jesus who was likely the most powerful leader of faith and influence in all of history. His wisdom has this enormous benefit for civilization. It could, very well, direct you to the amazing impact His teachings (and those of His followers) provide for day to day life. You likely will discover that His wisdom has incredible impact on civilization and it is relevant for the issues that connect with our world’s greatest struggles.
I’m sure Restoring Civility will impact your attitudes. If you are discouraged by the outrageous behavior among so many in our world, you will find hope. You will see real solutions that speak to so many people about all the challenges that are undermining our world.
I believe this book will help you identify new priorities of behavior. It will encourage you to become more polite, even among those who challenge you. It will give you strategies for facing conflict. You will discover courage to rise above the challenges of life, with strength, peace, and power.
Restoring Civility will change your worldview. It’s easy to become discouraged by all the bad behavior in our world. We hear and see it every day. It’s easy to see the world through the lens of all these problems. Newscasts are about 95% filled with bad news. Sometimes they throw in a short “positive” story at the end. The subtle message is this: 95% of life is horrible, a screwed up mess of pain, suffering, and disrespect. But 5% of the people are great, upstanding people. This is a misrepresentation of reality! It is just the opposite. 95% of the people don’t steal, murder, commit suicide, kill police, or cook meth. Perhaps you will adopt my worldview: Credible news outlets should report at least 50% good news stores. Would that change your worldview? If that did for all of us, would that change your outlook on the nation? Would it make a greater impact for civility?
Restoring respect in you changes your behavior. And you become infected with the lifestyle found only in human beings. This is revolutionary. Our world is so focused on what you do. It is a utilitarian view of people. But we are not simply human doings we are human beings.
Maybe you have heard the saying, “Dogs are people, too.” No they aren’t! They are animals. Honestly, I grew up with dogs and love them. But not the way I love my wife, or for that matter, my son-in-law, or even my boss. Human beings are not driven by instincts. We are rational beings.
Human beings have the capacity to live, respect, be polite, treat others as valuable. And, the more we practice those distinctly human traits, the more human we are. That makes a huge impact on society. Life is so much better.
As human beings, we have the capacity to learn, grow, and improve our respectful behavior. We can also model civility and teach others. Sadly, we can also slip away from respectful behavior. It’s a subtle and dangerous departure from our best selves.
When the trend toward disrespect occurs over time, it subtly and subconsciously impacts others. Discontent and disrespect can infect other people. It can become contagious, like the Coronavirus. Incivility can kill people, too. It can lead to murders, drug overdoses, shootings, abortions, high speed auto accidents, and it can be a silent, subtle killer, through stress, and mental illness.
Yet, civility is also contagious. Especially during discouraging times. Respect toward others is respect caught by others. In fact, it’s caught more than taught. As you grow in conscious respect for others, you become a carrier of polite behavior. You become contagious. You don’t have to become someone different. Just be your best you. Your civility will infect others, as you exercise respect, up close and personal.
That’s why, with the book Restoring Civility, I have launched #TheCivilityMovement. We, humans spend so much time and energy focusing on the disrespect. Each of us can be a movement person, practicing God-given respect for others. It rubs off—no program needed. Let your civility show and shine, and let others catch it from you. Together, we will change the future.