Feb. 17, 2012: Civility Pledge helps us all build harmony, by Holly Boley and Will Strommen

“Civility costs nothing, and buys everything,” Mary Wortley Montagu said.

We both believe in that quote. To us it means that just a simple act of civil behavior can get you far in life. Once again the Concordia Year of Peace Committee is asking everyone in the community to join together to promote civility in public discourse and behavior.

The first challenge in the Civility Pledge is, “I will be civil in my public discourse and behavior.” This truly boils down to just doing the right thing. If there is any thought in your mind that would lead you to believe an action is wrong, chances are it is. Remember though, “Sometimes the right thing and the hard thing are the same thing.”

The second challenge is to be respectful of others whether or not you agree. It is human nature to have your own opinion. How we portray that opinion is a direct line to a person’s character. Now don’t get us wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a healthy debate. But, at the end of the day, you will have to accept the fact not everyone is the same.

The final challenge is to stand against incivility when you see it. As members of the school’s Friends of Rachel club, this is our motto.

Whether or not you, personally, have experienced bullying, it is a part of everyday life no matter how old you are. When walking through our halls, we occasionally see bullying but we have also seen students stand up to the bully. Due to anti-bullying speakers and clubs, our school has seen improvement but we still have some ways to go in this area. Even though standing up to a bully is very difficult to do, we feel it is a skill all students and adults in the community need to strengthen.

The Year of Peace and the Civility Pledge is a great way to make people aware of the problems in our community and ways to promote civility. This will help make Concordia and Cloud County residents have better relationships and harmony. We hope you will all sign it!

(Copies of the Civility Pledge will be available to sign at Frank Carlson Library, or you can download a copy for yourself at www.csjkansas.org/year-of-peace/)

— Will Strommen is a junior at Concordia High School and is the son of David and Anita Strommen.  Holly Boley is a senior at Concordia High School and is the daughter of Mark and Connie Boley.


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