Letter: We have another year to create a more civil world

Sat, 2020-01-04

By Ted Celeste, Director of State Programs, NICD

Thank you for the excellent Wednesday Dispatch editorial “New Year brings opportunity for real effort to solve problems.” Clearly 2020 will be testing our ability to solve problems with civility, compassion and contemplation.

As someone who has worked on civil discourse for more than a decade, I am convinced that all of us have a personal role in working on this.

The challenges facing us include the wave of false stories on the internet, the rising intensity of dysfunctional political dialogue and the general mistrust of institutions and government. In the midst of these challenges have come a number of organized efforts to modify our behavior: the National Institute for Civil Discourse, Better Angels, All Sides, The Village Square, National Conversation Project, Listen First and Living Room Conversations, to name just a few of the dozens of groups.

And recent polling indicates that the general public wants more, not less, of these efforts.

The ongoing modeling of this behavior on the part of the Dispatch editorial is another great step toward making sure that we do not let incivility become the new normal.

Ted Celeste, Columbus