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Civility and Its Opposites

November 6, 2016

I have been thinking about civility and its opposites again.

I was reminded of these concepts yesterday at the annual conference of the Southern California Mediation Association.

Early on at the conference, I had a chance opportunity to meet another conference attendee, Russ Charvonia , who is the President of The Civility Center and whose personal goal is to be a catalyst in restoring civility in our society.

Well, that had me thinking, but there was more.

I then heard the keynote address from Hon. George J. Mitchell, former Majority Leader of the United States Senate, who received SCMA’s Cloke-Millan Peacemaker Award at the conference.

Naturally, he reminded me about the upcoming election and the unfortunate but pervasive hostility, disrespect, and rudeness embodied by the contest for the Presidency.

Later, in the Advance Track Program for experienced mediators like myself, a mock mediation took place as the focal point for analysis in which, among other things, one of the “actors” played the role of a snide, aggressive lawyer while another played the role of disputant full of hostility and defensiveness.

In fact, it was very much like a real mediation, because those personalities and behaviors do appear from time to time.

I have written about these issues before, and, in the hope of being a catalyst to restore civility, like my colleague Russ Charvonia, I will simply reprise these prior posts by reference, as follows.

You can look for more on my blog, but here are a few highlights for you:

Civility

Kindness

Aggressiveness

Bullying

In our conversation, Russ Charvonia reminded me, because he is a Mason, as am I, that civility and Freemasonry go hand in hand, which is why I follow Masonic Principles in my mediation practice and in life and recommend the same to each and all of my colleagues and readers.

***

David I. Karp is a full time mediator of real estate and business disputes in Southern California. His professional website is at http://karpmediation.com .

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