Being a Decent Person

I recently wrote a short comment on the morality of using words.  I just received a comment from Jim Lukaszewski on how we can get to “decency” in our relationships with others.  I thought his ideal of decency is pretty close to a common, cross-cultural understanding of morality, very much like the ideal of “virtue” proposed by Mencius and the behaviors advocated by the Buddha in his noble eightfold way to take in our lives.

In using words, Lukaszewski recommends:

STOP Incivility Before or After It Starts

The true test of civility is a commitment to verbal and written communication that are predominantly positive and declarative and behaviors that are simple, sensitive, sensible, constructive, positive, helpful, humble, empathetic and always benefit the recipient more than the giver.  Any other pathways lead only to trouble, prolong problems and delay mitigation and resolution.  Empathy means positive deeds that speak louder and more constructively than words.

The true test of civility is a commitment to verbal, written communication, deeds and actions that benefit a recipient more than the sender.  Here are 39 possible paths that can get you to civility, decency, integrity and trust.  Always pick as many as you can, as frequently as you can.

1. Accountability
2. Apology
3. Calmness
4. Candor
5. Character
6. Charitability
7. Chivalry
8. Civility
9. Compassion
10. Constructiveness
11. Courtesy
12. Decency
13. Dignity
14. Empathy: positive deeds that always speak louder than words
15. Engagement
16. Forgiveness
17. Gratitude
18. Helpfulness
19. Honesty
20. Honor
21. Humility
22. Integrity
23. Listening: the greatest decency
24. Openness
25. Peacefulness
26. Pleasantness
27. Politeness
28. Positivity
29. Principle
30. Respect
31. Responsiveness
32. Sensibility
33. Sensitivity
34. Simplicity
35. Softness
36. Tact
37. Thoughtfulness
38. Transparency
39. Truthfulness

Remember, the reverse of any of these words, ideas or behaviors only lead to trouble, problems and delayed mitigation and resolution; plus, revictimizing those who have been injured.