Oshkosh Civility Project: Civility, politics and respect can be used in the same sentence

Thu, 2018-02-01

A key rule of the Oshkosh Civility Project is “Show Respect.” It is Rule 5 on our posters showing the nine tenets, and it is elaborated on in the 25 rules in P.M. Forni’s book, "Choosing Civility: The Twenty-five Rules of Considerate Conduct".

Civility. Politics. Respect. Can these three words even be used in the same sentence? Yes, I believe they can. Here’s how it worked for me. When I realized several years ago that my vote counts and became more interested in politics in general, I joined the non-partisan League of Women Voters. When the Oshkosh Civility Project reached out to LWV, I was asked if I’d be willing to attend a couple of meetings as the League representative.

I had reservations about my ability to "be civil", whatever that meant, but I agreed to give it a try. It turns out that "being civil" is just living the Golden Rule we talked about in Sunday school when I was a kid! At the first training session I assisted with, I learned that every major religion in the world has the Golden Rule concept.