Thursday, February 4, 2010

Obama Calls For Civility; Forgot Kettle Was Black For An Hour

This morning President Obama spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C. and called for civility:

Civility also requires relearning how to disagree without being disagreeable; understanding, as President [Kennedy] said, that "civility is not a sign of weakness." Now, I am the first to confess I am not always right. Michelle will testify to that. But surely you can question my policies without questioning my faith, or, for that matter, my citizenship.

There are those in this great land who question where President Obama was born. But Obama's remarks leave one with the impression that Republican lawmakers have questioned him in this way. I defy President Obama to name a single elected Republican official who has questioned the veracity of where he was born.

If President Obama seeks to restore civility he would be wise not to attribute ill-motives towards those who have not expressed them. But I suppose the President forgot the kettle was black for an hour.


Diane said...

President Obama has signaled his intention to have civil conversations. This does not mean that you or I or our leaders won't make mistakes however we can quickly acknowledge or merely make present moment observations, speak to convey empathy, look for eternity in the eye of the other. Non-violent communication suggests making requests such as the president has made. This takes practice.

Diane said...

President Obama has made an observation and asked a question. He has also made a request for civil dialogue. At times mistakes will be made and the return to civility be delayed. He and you can quickly return to a model that shows clear recognition of the other and honors the universal need for respect. These are non-violent communication principals. We can do this. We don't have to use colorful language like, "forgot the kettle was black." That is an assumption anyway. Try empathy and making requests. It can work. Are you open to increasing civility?