There recently appeared a press release in the LDS newsroom titled The Mormon Ethic of Civility. As we think about how to engage as a stake, ward, family or individual, I'd urge us to consider the following:
Civility is not only a matter of discourse. It is primarily a mode of engagement. The technological interconnectedness of society has made isolation impossible. Of all the institutions in the modern world, religion has had perhaps the greatest difficulty adjusting to the reality of give and take with the public.
In our work life, and with our children, we are continually looking for the win-win, do we think about finding the win-win when we engage as Mormons?
President Monson emphasized the importance of cooperation in civic endeavors: “We have a responsibility to be active in the communities where we live, all Latter-day Saints, and to work cooperatively with other churches and organizations. My objective there is ... that we eliminate the weakness of one standing alone and substitute for it the strength of people working together.”
It's not that easy to do. We've learned to move ourselves into a win-lose mindset when it comes to our faith. But there are ways to engage civilly, to support 'anything that is virtuous, lovely, or of good report" in win-win, small snatches of time, ways.
For example, Penelope Trunk, in her Brazen Careerist blog recently wrote All Career Issues are Religious Issues. Maybe. It was a terrific article. As a person of faith, you'll likely agree with most all that she says.
What if you or I were to have passed this article along? Or left a comment telling her thank you for acknowledging the importance of religion in our career and our lives? It's a simple way to help make the climate broadly welcoming of religion.
We have so much on our plates.
But just as incivility, like road rage, can happen in small snatches, even seconds,
so too, can civility.