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Thanks for using civility tools: Thanks for using civility tools

We recently presented a proposal to the City Council regarding the Speak Your Peace civility project and urged the council to adopt the nine Speak Your Peace tools. We want to thank the council and other boards, church councils, other units of government considering adoption of a similar resolution. These tools include:

1. Pay attention: Be aware, and attend to the world and the people around you.

2. Listen: Focus on others in order to better understand their points of view.

3. Be inclusive: Welcome all groups of citizens working for the greater good of the community.

4. Don't gossip: And don't accept when others choose to do so.

5. Show respect: honor other people and their opinions, especially in the midst of disagreement.

6. Be agreeable: Look for opportunities to agree, don't contradict just to do so.

7. Apologize: be sincere and repair damaged relationships.

8. Give constructive criticism: When disagreeing, stick to the issues and don't make a personal attack.

9. Take responsibility: Don't shift and blame others; share disagreements publicly.

Other letters to the editor have pointed out that these principles should be taught to our young people and that adults should have learned them by now. We do not disagree with that premise but believe that the adoption of the nine tools of civility by the groups we belong to -- be they government or non-governmental -- models for our young people the very behavior we feel it's important to teach them. We believe adopting the nine tools as the ground rules for how we will conduct our business will result in better interaction between people and a healthier community for all of us.

I want to thank all the individuals that have and continue to work for the Speak Your Peace effort. The group Website is and the e-mail is speak.your.peace.willmar@gmail. com.

Gary Geiger