This post is part of an ongoing series that highlights discourse about civility from around the Web. We glean the links in this segment from as broad a cross-section as we can manage of blogs, newspapers, magazines, and other online venues, from the United States and around the world.
This week’s post highlights the possibilities of civility amid rivalry and disagreement. It features a piece about convicted civility — and how it can be enacted in the workplace. It covers the storied 1961 battle between Yankees Micky Mantle and Roger Maris to break Babe Ruth’s home-run record. And it highlights a kind of resolution between the seemingly conflicting values of free speech and civility, and the seemingly conflicting forces of Islam and the United States.
As always, if you have an article that you think would be right for future civility linkblogging posts, please do not hesitate to email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the title, url, and a short summary, and we will gladly review it for publication.
Now — the list:
The importance of Civility: What We Can Learn from Japan
Posted by Rob Walker at RN, 11 May, 2015
Civility was a determining factor in 2011 when we began to consider spending another year in Japan.
Back in Australia I’d noticed a further decline in civility, not just in schools but in society at large. Political discourse didn’t seem possible without personal insult anymore, whether it’s in parliament, on the radio or on the internet.
We returned to Japan in 2012, this time teaching senior high school and adult students.
For me there was a huge sense of relief.
Four Ways to Bring Convicted Civility Into The Workplace
Posted by Paul Jankowski at Forbes, 12 May, 2015
One of the most important places to exhibit convicted civility is in the workplace. This is where we spend the majority of our time and we need to invest in creating an atmosphere that fosters healthy, spirited debate. So what do you do when there is a disagreement? I’m not talking about a disagreement over what kind of coffee should be stocked in the office…but rather something that touches deeply on a person’s values, convictions and beliefs. How do you acknowledge a difference of opinion?
Our need to be understood and appreciated goes to our very core. Yet, when in conflict with another, our need to project strength, not weakness, may obscure the importance of this human condition.
Phil Pepe records in his 2011 book on the home run race, “1961*” (Triumph Books), that when Maris was booed, Mantle would joke, “Hey, Rog, thanks for taking my fans away.”
The two players laughed at stories that their contest had turned them into personal enemies. Mantle recalled that when Maris once brought the morning newspapers and coffee back to their apartment, he said, “Wake up, Mick, we’re fighting again!” Another time, when Mantle spotted a sportswriter next to Maris, he deliberately called out, “Maris, I hate your guts!” and the next day, the two men searched the papers to see if the reporter had succumbed to the ruse.
If we want Muslim societies to adopt democratic commitments to free speech, we must advocate and be role models of both free speech and civility, understanding that democracy requires both. Ultimately, we cannot advocate for free speech at the price of civility. If what is free speech to us is interpreted as hateful and uncivil to many Muslims in other parts of the world, we will be unable to effectively communicate the merits of free speech.
Building bridges with Muslims and paving the way for democracy will be easier when we leverage the similarity between Islam’s speech rules and America’s. The first word revealed to Prophet Muhammad is a command to “read,” which affirms the importance of reasoning and critical thought. The Quran instructs followers that diversity is created by God, in order that we learn from one another. “Shura” or mutual consultation, is a Quranic commandment, in both private and public realms, consistent with democratic practice. … These principles and practices support plurality of thought and free speech. They also provide a foundation for respectful debate about Islam and Muslims’ practice of their faith.