Time for a return to civility

We enter 2013 wracked by conflicting emotions.

It is natural to think hopefully about any new year. We all want this year to be better than the last one, even if the last one wasn’t so bad.

But we look around us and what do we see? We see horrific violence showing itself in three mass shootings in recent months in our country. Outside our borders, we see wayward dictatorships experimenting boldly with nuclear weaponry. We see a Mideast region that is a fiery cauldron, full of dangerous dictatorships, terrorists without conscience, and misguided groups with ill intentions.

Within our borders, we see partisan bickering and one-upmanship from our elected leaders, who don’t seem to understand that problem-solving is more important than political advantage. There is a common theme to all of these woes that make it feel as those the world is closing in on us. The thread that binds this chaos is a lack of civility.

Less and less do we overcome our challenges with open-minded discussion. We rant, we point fingers, we intimidate those we disagree with, as if making them lesser makes us greater.

If there is a wish to execute in 2013, it would be to be more civil to each other. That goal is available to all of us. And while it would make our common world so much better, it sure would be nice if all those elected to make decisions on our behalf would participate in an outbreak of civility.

Clever politics is not cool when it does not solve our problems. Two heads have always been better than one. In an age when we can communicate on so many different and sophisticated levels, our wish is that a message of civility finds its way up the political ladder in 2013.

– The (Williamsport) Sun-Gazette