Choosing Civility by P.M. Forni is the basis for initiatives by cities and libraries across the county. A slim volume, it has concrete ideas for individuals and for the community at large.

The author talks about the difference between manners and civility, and makes the case that good manners are the tools to promote civility. Manners have gotten a reputation as something that are phony and ineffectual,  but, in fact, the purpose of good manners is to show that you think the best of those you encounter and you assume they have only the best motives. You can’t control the rude and callous behavior of those around you, but you can choose to do everything you can, large and small, to make the world a more positive place. This philosophy, in fact, has been shown to increase one’s own happiness.

Being able to have some control over one’s daily interactions is a powerful idea.

The website of the American Library Association promotes Civility & Diversity: “When it comes to finding information and instruction for how to become more civil, there is probably no better source … than Emily Post’s Etiquette. ” In the workplace, a civil atmosphere promotes customer satisfaction “when co-workers work together, they work better, enriching our users’ experiences.”

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