Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Choosing Civility (copy)

I will be reading a lot of business books for a class I am taking and one particular book on etiquette caught my eye. I personally like to say “Good morning” or “Morning” to the people I work with.
My first job required it! When I came into Perkins Drugstore, I was to greet the pharmacist and customers waiting for prescriptions and those in the aisles. Whether, I was in a good mood or not (being a teenager at the end of a school day usually meant not), but my bosses wanted this open rapport from coworkers.
And yet, now I may not. I play a game of invisibility. “Is a glimmer of acknowledgment in a fleeting encounter so burdensome? Are we shy? Are we lazy? Are we prey to misguided pride? Are we so goal-directed that we won’t bother with anything that doesn’t advance our progress toward our goal, whatever that might be? Are our souls shrinking beyond repair?”
Wow! “Are our souls shrinking beyond repair?” is a statement that stings me.
I am reading Choosing Civility: The Twenty-five Rules of Considerate Conduct by P.M. Forni. Written in 2002, he also published, The Civility Solution: What to Do When People are Rude in 2009.
The second rule states, “A simple ‘Hello’ or ‘Good morning’ is the most basic form of acknowledgement. Every day when we arrive at our workplaces, we greet our coworkers. As a rule, we don’t infuse our greeting with particular intensity. There is no need to. A greeting is a minimal yet meaningful conferral of honor on a person for just being a person. With it, not only do we acknowledge and validate, but we also put at ease and wish well.”
On the radio this morning, the guest was talking about George Washington. He said that President Washington lacked leadership qualities in battle like making strategic mistakes, being indecisive or unable to make a decision at all. Many of his men left and joined the British. The one thing Washington did consistently was to be passionate about the cause of freedom.
I am passionate about libraries, but that does not excuse my short comings. George Washington said it best, “Every action done in company, ought to be with some sign of respect to those that are present.”

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