it’s time to be civil (10)

 

1. Pay attention. … Without attention, no meaningful interaction is possible. Our first responsibility, when we are with others, is to pay attention, to attend to. … Only after we notice the world can we begin to care for it. Every act of kindness is, first of all, an act of attention. …When we relate to the world as if we were on automatic pilot, we can hardly be at our best in our encounters with our fellow human beings. When we pay attention, when we are alert to the world, we improve substantially the quality of our responses and therefore the quality of our lives and of the lives of those who touch ours. We want to inhabit every situation with ease but at the same time maintain a little bit of the stranger’s ability to be ‘impressed’ by reality. We want to allow reality to leave its mark upon our consciousness.”

Choosing Civility: The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct by P.M. Forni (St. Martin’s Press, 2002); pp. 35,36,37

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