The Importance of Being Civil and Polite

The third element of the five SemperVerus components is BE, which emphasizes the importance of intentionally reinforcing rectitude in yourself. It’s stated thusly:

III. Be: developing rich personal leadership character of exemplary moral and ethical quality.

The 18th-century German philosopher Immanuel Kant put it this way: “It is not necessary that while I live, I live happily; but it is necessary that so long as I live, I should live honorably.”

In his article, Why Politeness and Etiquette Matter, blogger Scott Monty references the handbook George Washington wrote when he was only a teenager titled, Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation. Washington’s final rule is a guiding light for all of us, “Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.”

[ Read the SemperVerus article, 10 Lessons From Benjamin Franklin’s Daily Schedule ]

Monty’s list of reasons why being civil is vital to a life well lived is because it fuels:

  • Social Harmony
  • Respect
  • Effective Communication
  • Professional Success
  • Cultural Sensitivity
  • Building Relationships
  • Self-Image
  • Personal Growth
  • Mental Well-Being and
  • Community and Society.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Gentle Response De-Escalation Training for Church Security Teams ]

The Bible, of course, is replete with directions to live a desirable life. Merely one example is Romans 12:9-21, where it begins

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord….

and goes on from there.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Spiritual Fitness: How Long Does It Take to Read the Bible? ]

Here are more quotes from Washington’s list:

  • Every action done in company ought to be with some sign of respect, to those that are present.
  • Show not yourself glad at the misfortune of another though he were your enemy.
  • Wherein you reprove another be unblameable yourself; for example is more prevalent than precepts.
  • Use no reproachful language against any one neither curse nor revile.
  • Undertake not what you cannot perform but be careful to keep your promise.

Something to think about as you live a SemperVerus (Stay True) life!

[ Read SemperVerus articles on the subject of BE ]

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