Clif Hostetler's Reviews > Taking Civility Out of the Box: The Insanity of Incivility and What Can Be Done About It

Taking Civility Out of the Box by Barbara Condra
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bookshelves: current-events

This book functions much as written instructions packaged within a recently delivered box labeled “Civility.” The instructions explain how civility can be taken out of the box and used to create healthy and positive intercommunication with others. This book can function as a refresher course on how to listen with respect and acceptance to those with whom we disagree.

It’s the author’s hope that her book will contribute toward changing the present environment in which people are afraid to say something about an issue for fear of an angry judgmental response. The book provides questions and suggestions at the end of each chapter to encourage thinking of ways to practice civility while communicating with others.

Of course the subject of civility can't be fully elaborated without noting the existence of incivility. Needless to say, there exists a plethora of examples of incivility from which the book could make reference. However the book steers clear of partisanship, and whenever political examples are used there are generally two examples given from both sides of an issue.

In the following excerpt the author, Barbara Condra, suggests some of the issues that have been put off for too long:
Every group has its own opinions and needs. We voice our opinions as demands and wait for someone to give in.
…. … …
So how did we get to this point? It didn’t happen overnight, It came on gradually, leaving issues unresolved and leaving people feeling hopeless.
… … …
So, what issues are there that we as a country have argued about but not really dealt with? Here’s a list to start with:
1. Racial inequality
2. Sexual inequality
3. Gun laws
4. Abortion laws
5. A diminishing middle class
6. Health insurance that is too expensive or too exclusive for too many people
7. Immigration laws and policies that need revising or have not been enforced
8. The growing influence of lobbyists and big money
9. Our neglected infrastructure
10. Global warming
11. Long dawn out election campaigns that are mean-spirited and care-nothing about the truth
12. Cost of college education that is out of reach for more and more families
13. Rising debt of college loans that students cannot repay
…And that’s only a start, (p 88-89)
Condra writes from a perspective of a person of the Christian faith, and she has included a chapter titled "Fitting Faith into the Box". In this chapter she takes Christians to task for not always living up to the claims of their faith to be peace makers.

In a closing chapter titled "Adding Tools to the Box" Condra encourages the reader to proceed with use of civility in a positive and confident attitude.
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Reading Progress

January 9, 2020 – Shelved
February 8, 2020 – Started Reading
February 8, 2020 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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message 1: by Michael (new)

Michael Perkins On that note, this convocation address by author George Saunders might be of interest....

message 2: by Clif (new) - added it

Clif Hostetler Michael wrote: "On that note, this convocation address by author George Saunders might be of interest...."

Indeed! Thanks for the link.

message 3: by Sheila (new) - added it

Sheila Sounds like a must read, Clif, and I thank you.

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