Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"Our Fading Civility"

I have shared quotes from the 3 previous chapters of this book I've been reading called, "Standing for Something." You can click on the label with that title to view the other chapters. Today I am sharing from Chapter 4 - "Our Fading Civility." This chapter is intriguing to me because it doesn't take a genius to see how much we are losing simple common courtesy and gentle behavior in our society and throughout the world.
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These are the quotes I'd like to share today. All of the below are from President Gordon B. Hinckley:

"It is not enough just to be good. We must be good for something. We must contribute good to the world. The world must be a better place for our presence. And the good that is in us must be spread to others. This is the measure of our civility."

"Civility is the root of the word civilization. It carries with it the essence of courtesy, politeness, and consideration of others. How very much of it we have lost in our contemporary society! All of the education and accomplishments in the world will not count for much unless they are accompanied by marks of gentility, of respect for others, of serving as a good Samaritan, of being men and women who look beyond our own selfish interests to the good of others."

"This is the essence of civility - to extend, without price, a helping or lifting hand to those in need; to anxiously look for ways to strengthen those who may have less than we do."

"We are sons and daughters of God, each a member of the divine family. As surely as He is our Father, we are all brothers and sisters. We simply must work unitedly to remove from our hearts and to drive from our society all elements of hatred, bigotry, racism, and other divisive actions and words that limit a person's ability to progress, learn , and be fully accepted. Snide remarks or racial slurs, hateful epithets, malicious gossip, and mean and vicious rumormongering have no place among us."

"None of us needs someone who only points out our areas of weakness and the ways in which we have fallen short. We need someone who encourages us to go forward, to try again, to reach a little higher this time. Excellence is difficult to achieve in a vacuum."

"Imagine how our own families, let alone the world, would change if we vowed to keep faith with one another, strengthen one another, look for and accentuate the virtues in one another, and speak graciously concerning one another. Imagine the cumulative effect if we treated each other with respect and acceptance, if we willingly provided support. Such interactions practiced on a small scale would surely have a rippling effect throughout our homes and communities and, eventually, society at large."

"There are few things more delightful than participating in a conversation with bright and happy people who have something to say, whose dialogue is witty, scintillating, and punctuated not only by good humor but by thoughtful dialogue about serious and important topics.... There is plenty of humor in the world without resorting to dirty jokes or uncouth language."

"Generally speaking, the most miserable people I know are those who are obsessed with themselves. By and large, if we complain about life, it is because we are thinking only of ourselves. For many years, there was a sign on the wall of a shoe shop I patronized that read: 'I complained because I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet.' The most effective medicine for the sickness of self-pity is to lose ourselves in the service of others."

"I don't suppose that many of us will be remembered a thousand years from now. But in this world so filled with problems, so constantly threatened by dark and evil challenges, we can and must rise above mediocrity, above indifference. We can become involved and speak with a strong voice for that which is right and good, and we can lend our efforts and our resources to helping those who have been saddled with handicaps and burdens."

"Caring for others, seeing and reaching beyond our own wants and comforts, cultivating kindness and gentility toward others from all of life's situations and circumstances - these are of the essence of civility, a virtue to be admired, a virtue to be acquired."

- All of the above are quoted from the book by President Gordon B. Hinckley, "Standing for Something."

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