Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error

By KATHRYN SCHULZ

A Sisters Country LOCAL PICK...Recommended by Patrick Eckford, who writes:

"In 'Being Wrong,' Kathryn Schulz artfully explores the mechanics of why people believe what they do and how deeply they feel right, even when they are wrong. Through relevant, poignant and often very humorous examples, Schultz reminds us of how the commission of errors has actually contributed to human development and is an essential part of scientific and philosophical processes. She encourages us to not fear, but embrace human fallibility as fundamental to intellectual and scientific development.

"In making her case for accepting error as an inevitable part of progress, Schulz also artfully illuminates the often quirky dynamics of “believing” and the significant challenges and obstacles involved in trying to change someone’s beliefs. Her insights into how and why people believe what they do, provide hints for how to more effectively confront “wrongness” in other people, and for being realistic about just how much you may (or may not) be able to shift someone’s beliefs. These observations reinforce and complement aspects of Speak Your Peace (and The Sisters Country Civility Project).

"'Being Wrong' is a great read for anyone interested in human communications, public discourse and community engagement. It is also just plain entertaining.

Published: 2011
 

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The Five Keys to Mindful Communication

By Susan Gillis Chapman

Publisher Summary: Good communication is essential to any healthy relationship, whether it’s between spouses, family members, friends, or co-workers, and mindfulness—the practice of nonjudgmental awareness—can help us communicate more effectively and meaningfully with others in our personal and professional lives.

Here, Susan Chapman, a psychotherapist and long-time Buddhist practitioner, explains how the practice of mindfulness awareness can change the way we speak and listen, enhance our relationships, and help us achieve our goals. 

Chapman highlights five key elements of mindful communication—silence, mirroring, encouraging, discerning, and responding—that make it possible for us to listen more deeply to others and to develop greater clarity and confidence about how to respond.

Other topics include:
• identifying your communication patterns and habits;     
• uncovering the hidden fears that often sabotage communication;    
• staying open in the midst of difficult conversations so that we can respond wisely and skillfully;
• and learning how mindful communication can help us to become more truthful, compassionate, and flexible in our relationships.

 

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Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community

by Robert D. Putnam


• This selection was recommended by Speak Your Peace national spokesperson Rob Karwath.

Publisher Summary: In this best-selling book, Putnam shows how we have become increasingly disconnected from family, friends, neighbors, and our democratic structures—and how we may reconnect.
Putnam warns that our stock of social capital—the very fabric of our connections with each other, has plummeted, impoverishing our lives and communities.
Putnam draws on evidence including nearly 500,000 interviews over the last quarter century to show that we sign fewer petitions, belong to fewer organizations that meet, know our neighbors less, meet with friends less frequently, and even socialize with our families less often. We’re even bowling alone. More Americans are bowling than ever before, but they are not bowling in leagues. Putnam shows how changes in work, family structure, age, suburban life, television, computers, women’s roles and other factors have contributed to this decline.
Published: 2000

A few factoids that ‘Bowling Alone’ offers:
• JOINING AND PARTICIPATING IN ONE GROUP CUTS IN HALF YOUR ODDS OF DYING NEXT YEAR.
• EVERY TEN MINUTES OF COMMUTING REDUCES ALL FORMS OF SOCIAL CAPITAL BY 10%
• WATCHING COMMERCIAL ENTERTAINMENT TV IS THE ONLY LEISURE ACTIVITY WHERE DOING MORE OF IT IS ASSOCIATED WITH LOWER SOCIAL CAPITAL.
• TRENDS OVER THE LAST 25 YEARS REFLECTING THE DECLINE IN SOCIAL CAPITAL:
Attending Club Meetings: 58% drop
Family dinners: 43% drop
Having friends over: 35% drop

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Choosing Civility: The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct

by P.M. Forni

• This selection was recommended by Speak Your Peace national spokesperson Rob Karwath, during his recent visit to Sisters Country. SYP's nine tenets of civility were derived from the longer list of 25 tenets detailed in this book by Dr. Forni.

Publisher Summary: Most people would agree that thoughtful behavior and common decency are in short supply, or simply forgotten in hurried lives of emails, cellphones, and multi-tasking. In Choosing Civility, P. M. Forni identifies the twenty-five rules that are most essential in connecting effectively and happily with others. In clear, witty, and, well...civilized language, Forni covers topics that include:

* Think Twice Before Asking Favors
* Give Constructive Criticism
* Refrain from Idle Complaints
* Respect Others' Opinions
* Don't Shift Responsibility and Blame
* Care for Your Guests
* Accept and Give Praise

Finally, Forni provides examples of how to put each rule into practice and so make life-and the lives of others-more enjoyable, companionable, and rewarding.
Choosing Civility is a simple, practical, perfectly measured, and quietly magical handbook on the lost art of civility and compassion.

"Professor Forni writes with wit, force, and grace on a subject that has become all too hoity-toity. Forni reclaims manners from the mantlepiece and grounds his advice in the details of everyday life. This book is about how we ought to treat each other. What could be more important than that?” 

—Edward Hallowell, M.D., author of Connect and The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness

 

P.M. FORNI, A PROFESSOR AT JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY, CO-FOUNDED THE JOHNS HOPKINS CIVILITY PROJECT IN 1997. AN AGGREGATION OF ACADEMIC AND COMMUNITY OUTREACH ACTIVITIES, THE JHCP AIMED AT ASSESSING THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CIVILITY, MANNERS AND POLITENESS IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY.

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