A Humanist approach to being polite

Gratuitous name drop - I know Roy
Roy Speckhardt - the president of the American Humanist Association has a new article in the Huffington Post today about 5 recommendations for a new politeness. It is an excellent article and I highly recommend reading the entire thing. But because I loved his recommendations so much and because they echo what I talk about in this blog all the time, I am sharing them here with a link to the article at the bottom.
  1. Identify people in ways they prefer to be identified. This flows directly from the Golden Rule advice of treating people as they'd like to be treated.
  2. State your opinions and critique with respect for the humanity of those with whom you might disagree. Politeness doesn't mean censoring the flow of ideas or even respecting your opponent's positions; just don't forget they're human, just like you. 
  3. Be sensitive to the fact that there are groups in this country that are faced with daily prejudice and discrimination. Being aware of stereotypes will help you avoid speaking as if you endorse them.
  4. When you're in the majority group, and most everyone is in some aspects of who they are, consider giving ground once in a while to someone who isn't. Hit the brakes on your Beemer and let that minivan merge into traffic.
  5. Take the time to inform those who aren't polite about the effects their words can have, and explain how they can get their point across in a more compassionate way.
Read the entire article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/roy-speckhardt/five-recommendations-for-_b_1648705.html

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