By no means is this a comprehensive list of do's and don'ts, or a magic end-all to hate and prejudices. Rather, it's a reminder. It's a reminder that we, as humans, should follow some very simple guidelines to ensure civility among one another.
In an age that is being shaped in so many ways by the creation and evolution of new forms of social media, I have been struck by the infrequency of serious discussion about what we have gained and what we have lost or are in imminent danger of losing.
This is a volatile time for college presidents, who are under intense pressure from their boards and the government to modernize rapidly amid a revolution in online learning, information technology, and global education.
The sorry performance of the 112th Congress brought the perception of this once-esteemed body to what is probably an all-time low. If the 113th replicates the behavior of the 112th, Congress' prestige will be driven so far underground that it will never again be resurrected.
Regardless of your politics, if you're a Christian leader who has ever taken your job seriously, becoming yoked with Barack Obama can be public-relations kryptonite. But the irony of the latest debacle is that it undermines Obama's intentional efforts to be a president of inclusivity.
Without doubt, good people will disagree about many matters of public importance as we move forward. One of my Thanksgiving prayers, however, is that we will build more unity and demonstrate more civility as we face difficult choices in the days ahead.
I don't recall "The Jewish Vote" ever being such a widely discussed topic during a presidential election in my lifetime. Not only is there speculation about how American Jews will vote today, but opinion polling of Israelis is making world news as well.
Jonathan Miller, an Obama supporter, and Ted Buerger, a Romney supporter, are two of the co-founders of No Labels. Here, each of them suggest what they'd like to hear from their candidate of choice in the closing days of Election 2012.
For most people, civility translates to quieter, measured and (one hopes) thoughtful discussion (vs. the raised voices and uncomfortable feelings we associated with what we've come to think of as uncivil behavior).
I wonder if most parents would be proud if their children interacted the same way at school during passionate disagreements about playground life as their parents do during passionate disagreements about politics?
Shortly after being declared the winner, the next president will claim a mandate to govern. His supporters will revel in his victory and demand that his mandate, delivered by the voters, be honored. Both misread American politics and the Constitution.
Yes, conservatives, I'll defend your constitutional right to free speech. But I will not be a Nice Person when it comes to defending my rights or the rights of my friends; I will not tolerate intolerance. You do not get to claim to be "civil" so long as you deny me, or my friends, equality.
I'm not sure what happens in other states, but here, it goes beyond radio and television. At a party last weekend, the tunes on Pandora were interspersed with messages about the importance of somebody's China policy.
My deepest wish for the New Year is that especially in the midst of this hot, political season, that every one of us accepts the challenge to do our part to help heal the world this year by reaching out to someone who thinks differently than we do.
For every Grand Inquisitor, there is a St. Francis of Assisi. For every Osama bin Laden, there is a Mother Teresa. Anything in the universe that humans touch will be ever thus: strands of good, evil and everything in between.