Letter to the Editor: Civility Begins with Listening

When the Door County Civility Project began in 2013, our goal was to advance the cause of civility in everyday life to strengthen our community. I don’t think any of us imagined at that time that we would be living in the challenging world that we face today. Concerns about health, safety, family, economics, employment, education, travel, missed opportunities and equity are just a few issues that abound in our community and world. 

With all of these challenges, it seems that some of the original civility principles that we adopted in 2013 are especially relevant today. For example, it’s important to listen to each other with the intent to understand each other’s views. When we disagree with someone, it’s helpful to focus on the issue and not the person, to be respectful and also to offer helpful recommendations.  

We can also take responsibility. It’s been said so often that “we are all in this together,” so we all need to do our part to move us forward in the most positive way that we can. None of this is easy, but we must keep reminding ourselves how important it is for our community that we get this right. Mariane Pearl said, “We can build human bridges between one another by overcoming anger, pain and fear and reaching out to others.”  We can get through this and be stronger together! 

Sue Todey

Core Team Member, Door County Civility Project

Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin