The surest way to cultivate a thriving community is to patiently and holistically attend to its well-being, a practice that is only made possible by genuinely listening to the needs and wants of its members. Across the country, communities are inspired by Speak Your Peace, a campaign that sprung in Duluth-Superior from Dr. P.M. Forni’s book “Choosing Civility.”
TTCF is proud to have initiated Tahoe-Truckee’s own successful Speak Your Peace Campaign in October 2010, and this month marks the four year anniversary of more than 1,000 North Lake Tahoe and Truckee residents and organizations signing the pledge. There is no better time than the election season to focus once again on treating our neighbors, our family, ourselves, and strangers with respect and honor.
Effective communication is the key to conscious evolution. This campaign does not target the elimination of disagreements, but reminds us how to have a civil discourse. This begins on a microcosmic level, in the home and with our most intimate relationships, and carries over into our workplaces, the grocery store, the road, and our schools. By seeking to understand one another, we create a cohesive and healthy community in which all of our members’ needs are met.
The nine tools by which Tahoe-Truckee discovers peaceful and amicable relations are:
- Pay attention. Be aware and attend to the people and the world around you.
- Listen. Genuinely focus on others as they speak so that you may better understand their perspectives.
- Be Inclusive. Welcome all points of view, every individual, and all groups of citizens working for the greater good.
- Don’t Gossip. And do not accept when others do. Speaking with consideration and kindness is at the heart of civil behavior.
- Show Respect. Honor other people and their opinions, especially in the midst of disagreement.
- Be Agreeable. Two ingredients for being agreeable in conversation: 1. The ability to consider that you might be wrong. 2. The ability to admit that you don’t know.
- Apologize. Be sincere and repair damaged relationships.
- Give constructive criticism. Be sure that your intention is to help, not to humiliate or attack someone personally.
- Take responsibility. Don’t shift responsibility or blame others.