Our world is lacking a certain sense of human kindness.  It’s time we demand that civility come back.  I read the paper each morning, and drink my coffee often I find myself shaking my head wondering what our world is coming to.  Then I laugh, and recognize I must be getting older.  I remember my parents saying the same thing.

It seems each day our world dies a little to what was, and opens a little to what is yet to be.  We all must take responsibility for the changes occurring in our human behavior.  If we don’t like the direction we are going we must be the ones in small and large ways to change it.

This weekend is the memorial services for two American Icons – “The Queen of Soul”, Aretha Franklin and War Hero, Senator John McCain.  Is it the end of an era or the beginning of a new one?

As I think about these two beacons of light and humanity I think about what does it mean to be civil to one another?  Will they be the last generation that lives from that place?  Civility: courtesy, courteousness, politeness, good manners, graciousness, consideration, respect, politeness.  The choice is ours.

At times when I speak to meeting planners about hiring me to be a keynote speaker at a conference I will tell them, “I teach human skills to humans.” And, they laugh.  Yet, a lot of us never learned or forgot human skills.

If you want to live in a civil, kind, generous world then we must step back and renew or commitment to being civil, in our homes, with our neighbors, at playgrounds and office complexes around the world.

While some will say Former President Barak Obama delivering the Eulogy for John McCain was a political move, it may be, or it may not.  Maybe it’s another opportunity for the world to explore what it could be.  What is possible when we, in the songs of Aretha Franklin, “show a little respect”.  Put down our differences and step into our shared human family.

Centered in Civility is how John McCain lived, it may not have been an easy life but it was a life well lived.  “Do not despair of our present difficulties but believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here,” McCain wrote in the statement released after his death. “Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history.”  I would add we also never quit, surrender, or hide in creating our shared future.

Civility is not hard.  Here are three simple ways you can be civil to honor your humanness this week.

  • Find a way to be polite. Open a door for someone, share a compliment, agree to disagree.  Heck smile.
  • Don’t be on the cell phone while shopping or at a restaurant. We often complain there is no customer service any more at groceries and restaurants. Show your host/hostess or server or clerk a little respect and get off your phone.
  • When you go to text someone, dial the phone instead. I don’t just tell you do these things I do them.  Instead of texting a friend at a pivotal moment, I called we talked in “real voice” about the problems and realized we both wanted the same things but text was being miss-interpreted in what could have killed a friendship.

When you see something nice, say something.

I’m now host/producer of www.EverydayMindfulnessShow.com on the show we talk about ways to apply mindfulness, the practice of being present in the moment in “real life”.  On a recent show we spoke with Carolyn Strauss, sales and persuasion expert on the show she said, “I work with people who want what’s best for me and I for them.” This is mindfulness it’s civility and it’s easy.

Looking back on the lives of these beings, and looking forward to the lives I want to be surrounded by its an easy choice respect your path enough to respect the people around you.

Mindful matters, and so do you.