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Civility, Humility, and Sensitivity

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Civility, humility, and sensitivity are signs of a mature and advance civilization. Civility teaches us to respect other people's privacy, resolve our problems without emotional outbursts or violence, and treat every stranger with politeness and courtesy. Humility means being humble, understanding one's limitations, and embracing diversity. Sensitivity is the ability to be aware of the changes around us, the feeling of the people who we are interacting with, the mood of the conversation that we are engaging in, and the intentions behind people's gestures toward us.

We are taught these codes of conduct as we were going up and in school. As we reach adulthood and enter society, they have become our second nature assisting us to navigate the complex social labyrinth where people from all walks of life find work, entertainment, and medical/financial/legal services.

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Civility starts at home where we learn not to interrupt our parents' conversation, to have proper dinner table manners, to clean up our mess in the rooms, and to properly greet the house guests. In school, we are taught to raise the hand and wait for permission to speak in class, to wait in line for the turn to get services, no yelling and shouting at other students, and treat every student with the same courtesy.

As we have grown up and ventured into society, we find that those learned mentality and behavior are a must to make new friends in an unfamiliar environment, to work with strangers to achieve common objectives, and to go shopping in crowded marketplaces. Even so, sometimes, arguments and fighting break out resulting in possible capital punishments and or legal actions.


We are living in a society where competition is the game and winning is the goal. In business, to survive, we have to make the products and services better than the competitors. In the workplace, to keep the job, we have to work hard and perform better than the fellow workers. In sports competitions, we have to reach beyond our physical and mental capabilities to defeat the opponents. So, it seems that there is no room for humility. On the contrary:

1) Only a rare few businesses are successful the first time out. Sometimes, even after many trials and errors with different things, success may still be out of reach. The experiences expose our shortcomings, teach us to be humble and embrace diversity.

2) Striving to keep the job by a good performance is only a short-term solution. We learn that by trying to work together with the other workers to make the company profitable, long-term employment can then be guaranteed.

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3) In any fierce competitive sport activity, winning is usually accompanied by physical injuries, mental exhaustion, and or the realization that no one can be victorious every time. Winning or losing, the journey exposes our limitations, introduces us to people from all walks of life, and most importantly, teaches us to be humble in whatever we do.


As we interact with different groups of people in our life, we learn that sensitivity plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy relationship:

1) In a family, we usually say and do things with few reservations. So, it is not surprising that sometimes, quarrels and fighting break out that can affect long-term relationships among the parents and children. These ill effects can be minimized when we pay more attention to family members' feelings and refrain from actions out of anger.

2) In our social life, we tend to interact differently with friends, amongst casual acquaintances, and toward strangers. We are more mindful and sensitive toward what the strangers say and do, going through the formalities and usual greetings amongst the casual acquaintances, and letting our guard down, and sharing our personal experiences with friends.

3) In the workplace, we learn not to allow our private affairs and personal interests to influence our performance and to maintain a professional relationship with co-workers while limiting conversations to job-related topics.

Man-made World

Today, we are living in a complex, crowded, and competitive world. Everyone is striving to make a good living the best ways one knows how. Civility, humility, and sensitivity help us to go through life with minimal conflict, confrontation, and chaos. Even so, sometimes, irreconcilable arguments and or irrepressible violence break out requiring the intervention of the lawyers and or lawmen.

We have come a long way where our behaviors and actions are no longer dictated by emotions and primal urges. Civility, humility, and sensitivity have separated us from the animal world where the survival of the strongest or fittest still reign and have opened up a new man-made world where everyone has a chance to not only survive but also to thrive according to one's best capabilities.

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