Book Review: Choosing Civility (2003)

The 25 rules of considerate conduct
by P.M. Forni

Ode to ‘better angels of our nature’

This one was recommended persistently by my mom until I eventually caved; she swore mastering the rules of civil behavior would stand me in good stead with Coffee Coaster Website readership. I would realize that instead of being a mean and angry SOB and screaming at everyone, if I made nice, people would come around to my way of thinking. Well, Choosing Civility is not (forgiving the mixed metaphor) your Emily Post’s sort of Oldsmobile. Rather, it is, but it’s the muscular 442 or the sleek and fast Cutlass Supreme, not the big-ol’-heap-o’-iron Delta 88.

Forni points out the ethical component of civility, making distinctions with respect to etiquette, politeness, tolerance, kindness, and so on. He starts by explaining that civility’s “…defining characteristic is its tie to city and society. The word derives from the Latin civitas, which means ‘city,’ especially in the sense of civic community.” Then: “Although we can describe the civil as courteous, polite, and well mannered, etymology reminds us that the civil [people] are also supposed to be good citizens and good neighbors.”

Lately, I’m always seeing the SNaP angle…

Good citizens, practicing the nonaggression principle? Well, it’s certainly implied isn’t it? From my presentation (on the Sacred Nonaggression Principle), a significant-other contributed the following key thought: Continue reading