Choosing Civility

I read a book with the same title as this blog, and I keep thinking back to it. I just can’t shake the truths revealed to me in this book, and would encourage all of you to read it. It’s an easy read, and would likely take those of you reading this blog no more than a day or so to read, and it will be worth your time to do so. The following are some of my perspectives I feel compelled to share with you having read that book…


People are judged according to their manners and mannerisms, whether they like it or not. When you are around people who may make you feel uncomfortable because you are shunned, talked down to, or just treated with disdain, you form opinions about this person, and they are automatically labeled a bitch or an asshole, or whatever it is that you use to refer to people who you feel mistreated by. Going forward, you will have reservations about interacting with the person that makes you feel that way. If you come across a string of people who have some similarity or another, you will begin to make assumptions when you come across another person with that similarity in the future. At this point you are prejudiced, and this has nothing to do with race, socio-economic “airs,” or feelings of superiority. It has to do with experience, and if you aren’t learning from your experiences, then you really are a moron.


The premise of what I want to share is that we all have a responsibility in our interactions with others to do so in a civil manner. There are repercussions to unladylike and ungentlemanly conduct, and they affect not only you, but everyone else of your ilk, whether it be family, profession, religion, race, nationality, hometown, or even education level. By representing yourself in a less than good light or treating people in a bad way, assumptions can be correctly made about you, but not necessarily those like you that come later…


What is correct or civil behavior? I believe it is treating people the way they want to be treated. It is not demeaning yourself to be able to interact with them, it is treating others with respect. It is having manners, being congenial, and when you are in a situation requiring interaction, making a connection. Saying thank you, acknowledging someone’s presence, listening to someone speak instead of thinking about what you want to say next, looking them in the eye during conversation, and respecting other people’s opinions are a few of the common ways people express civility.


In some social groups, and regions of the country even, civility is seen as a weakness. Because you respect other people’s opinions, and don’t care whether they are changed to your way of thinking, you are seen as person without conviction. Consider Jehovah’s Witnesses, PETA followers, Environmentalists, NYC business people, or Obama Haters. This goes to the other extreme as well, and that list is by no means exhaustive…


Some people choose to opt out and determine that they are not conformists and therefore are not subject to the rules of civility that the rest of us are. These people are typically shunned by society, and actually leave wide trails of negativity in their wakes. Some people determine that they are above the rules and because they are now a CEO, or renowned music producer, or a rock star, that they no longer have to consider other people in their interactions with them. These people destroy egos and careers, and other people are their apologists because they are deemed to have some gift or talent that is rare enough that they feel other people should have to endure their tantrums. Jack Welch of GE, Simon Cowell of American Idol, and Whitney Houston are great examples of this behavior. Everyone recognizes their talent, but they are all almost universally hated.


I choose civility. This doesn’t mean that I always do the right thing, because I don’t. This doesn’t mean that I always return your calls in a timely fashion, because I don’t. I do recognize your value as a person, and that is why I interact with you, return emails, return calls eventually, and acknowledge you. When I talk to you, I want to listen and not just tell you things. I want to tell you happy birthday before your birthday. I want you to be encouraged by your interactions with me. Otherwise, there really is no point in interacting.


Because I am a photographer, I guess I need to share some images…


To see more of my work, please feel free to visit my website- Savannah Wedding Photographer


Savannah Danse Theatre has some amazing ballet productions, and if you get the opportunity, I strongly recommend you take the opportunity to have your soul uplifted by one of their performances.

She does an excellent job as an ambassador for Savannah regarding tourism and everything, but I'm really not impressed with her restaurant or the food. I grew up in Louisiana, and I know what good cooking is and just feel like I do a better job in my own kitchen.

I know images are supposed to be representative of the subject, but I just enjoy the art aspect of a drink even if I rarely drink myself...

This is a VERY heavily processed image, but for weddings this is a very nice facility to shoot at. Close to the beach and a TON of picturesque settings within walking distance from the front door.




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