Is It Possible to Make Others 'Play Nice'?

Citizens4Community invites you to enjoy this short, casual conversation below that highlights ways each of us can make a difference in the big picture of civility.

Maybe it’s beyond our ability—today—to elevate the oft-surly tone trending nationally in politics and media. But in our own communities we can make a difference today—and every day. Anita Stech of the League of Women Voters and Citizens in Action (Duluth, MN) offers advice that evokes a root wisdom of philosophy: know thyself. Think about what motivates you to at times react with frustration instead of courtesy, she says. “You can’t make someone else be civil; but you can change the way you engage.”

Stech also notes the importance of learning how to listen more empathetically—focusing on what the other person is feeling instead of what you're feeling. And the lively conversation culminates with what might be the most practical advice of all: When you’re trying to bring opposing sides together, never underestimate the power of candy.

• This interview comes recommended by Rob Karwath, who collaborates with Anita Stech on civility projects in the Duluth, MN, area. If you’ve been following C4C news, you’ll recognize Rob’s name. The national spokesperson for Speak Your Peace, Rob drew large audiences in Sisters Jan. 13-15 as he helped C4C kick off our local civility project. Thanks again, Rob! Come back soon!