Let’s Happily Disagree During The Holidays … Ho! Ho! Ho!

By Cindy O’Connell & Dr. Susan Fell

Perhaps its wishful thinking — but imagine a world where civil discourse is prevalent in the midst of chaotic change.  Where differing ideas can be discussed without personal attacks. And if leadership or management shifts had to occur in an organization, these could be accomplished respectfully without long-held malice or verbal fist-a-cuffs governing the process.

That is what I wish for this holiday season.

Recently, I was at a community board meeting where I volunteer my time and where a management change was ensuing and agreement for the transition for a respectful change in leadership had been planned.

When suddenly the transition turned sour, pre-existing internal strife rose to the surface among the stakeholders, resulting in emotional outbursts and very hurt feelings with little positive resolution.

Clearly, George Washington’s Rules of Civility were not applied. For example –Wherein you reprove another, be unblameful yourself. For Example is more prevalent than precepts. Or, “use no reproachful language against anyone, neither curse or revile.”  

Lets’ try this holiday season to apply just one of these rules with our personal and professional dealings.  Maybe just maybe if we can begin one conversation or written exchange, by first checking our tongues with our coats and reflect on Mr. Washington’s rules (a.k.a., The Golden Rule) perhaps civility can rule our hearts this season and into the New Year.   Merry Christmas.

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