Ben Joppich
Catholic Central High School, Grade 12
“Civility as a Solution”

Civility is the foundation for all intelligent conversation. Without the support of civility the house of intellectual debate and discourse would crumble to the ground. Civility is what makes the world work. The idea of civility, to be courteous and polite, in all interactions allows for individuals to debate with fluidity while accomplishing and depicting actual ideas.

Civility is the premise which allows for society to run smoothly. The societal habit or expectation to be polite and courteous to others, no matter the situation easily serves to de-escalate conflict and smooth over areas of provocative debate. Without civility, debates would turn into continuing ad hominem attacks and breaking off of the intended talk. Civility allows for debate to occur because it forces listeners to pause and reconsider before outbursting, and perhaps even consider the contents of the speech they are listening to before responding. Civility also aids in preventing conflict elsewhere. Actions like allowing a rushing passenger to go in front of you in the security line at an airport prevents conflict by not antagonizing already stressed individuals. When implemented in our everyday lives, civility can also make an impression upon others that can create new relationships or increase our potential to be remembered. People often remember the most aggravating individuals in their day, but often fail to acknowledge or remember those who stand mute around them. A simple “how was your day”, can leave a lasting impression on others, with relatively little effort.

Civility is also necessary in government and to extend upon this idea, politics. There is a prevalence in America right now where the members and leaders of the opposing parties consider the members and leadership of the other to be enemies. What they often fail to recognize is that they share a common goal, to make America as great as it can be. The two parties simply have two separate visions of what that may look like but they have the common goal of making America as great as it can be for its citizens and the world. The opposing parties may have opposing viewpoints and ideals, but by adding civility into their daily lives these two parties can accomplish much more within their individual goals. Shouting down the statements and sentiments of a person does nothing but create animosity, polite listening through civility gives the opportunity for a person to see multiple perspectives, understand another’s viewpoint, or create relationships outside of their ideologies. In my experience someone is much more likely to listen to you if they feel that you listen to them. Once basic understandings have been reached and more personal relationships have been established, it is much easier to work with someone. Relationships must first be made in order for the opposing parties work together, or else they simply fall into the trap of labeling the members of the opposing party and fail to accomplish much of anything.

Civility is a potential solution to much of America’s political and social problems. Often many simply push push push their agenda without any care to those around them. If more Americans were to stop and listen we could more easily work together on our dreams and aspirations to accomplish our goals. Civility could also be used to mend the growing rift between the rival political parties. Civility is a beneficial aspect of proper discourse and should be considered as a potential solution for American’s social and political problems.

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