In his Seth Godin’s column, Toward Civilization, he reminds us that the opposite of war is not peace, but civilization. He writes:
“Civilization is the foundation of every successful culture. It permits us to live in safety, without being crippled by fear. It’s the willingness to discuss our differences, not to fight over them. … And this can be our goal. Every day, with every action, to make something more civilized. To find more dignity and possibility and opportunity for those around us, those we know and don’t know. Hence the imperative. Our associations, organizations and interactions must begin with a standard of civility. … The standard can come from each of us. We can do it. We can speak up. We can decide to care a little more….”
Civilization is not built on the absence of difference, but its ability to take advantage of the civility it generates. When diversity of thought and choices thrives, innovation and free enterprise thrive in a way that countries advance. You can’t control others, but as Seth reminds us, “The standard can come from each of us.” May it begin with you and me.