it’s time to be civil (12)


3. Think the best. ‘We must be as courteous to a man as we are to a picture, which we are willing to give the advantage of a good light. (Ralph Waldo Emerson) …

“… I expect that everyone I meet will turn out to be good, rather than bad. … What I find exciting in a new acquaintance is the thought: Maybe I’m making a discovery here; maybe someone is entering my life who is nice. …

“Are you comfortable with who you are and what you have accomplished? Sometimes it is dissatisfaction with ourselves that makes us judge others unfairly. Make sure that you are not projecting onto others the least attractive traits you perceive in yourself. …

“So, when it comes to people, have great expectations: it will be good for your soul, and it may touch theirs too. At the same time, don’t discount the possibility of unpleasant surprises. It people let you down, don’t rush to judgment, but don’t disregard the disenchanting evidence, either.”

Choosing Civility: The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct by P.M. Forni (St. Martin’s Press, 2002); pp. 44,45,46

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