CIVILITY BUILDING: Peace is a state of Becoming and not of Being: What we can Learn BY DEL BENSON

Humans are never likely to be at peace, but they should strive to be more peaceful and civil towards each other, the environment, and even to themselves. I cannot pragmatically imagine a peaceful utopian world where all resources that humans need, and desire are abundant, distributed fairly, and are sustainably secure. Conflicts are inevitable.

Peace often relates to avoiding, such as freedom from disturbance, oppressive thoughts and actions, or war. Expecting peace is risky because attaining it has never actually existed in the world, community, family, partnerships, or in oneself; consequently, we are at risk to assume and to practice otherwise. Peace is a state of becoming–striving, experimenting, reaching toward–but never a state of being. The dynamic and fragile process toward peace never ends; is has many formative steps; outcomes to evaluate; and feedback processes to understand.

Learning about becoming peaceful starts with attaining new knowledge, skills, and attitudes; progresses when learning is converted into actions; and is a risk to one’s persona when stepping into opportunity. I have resolved on practicing peace through actions that promote civility and conflict management starting with a mindset, using words to frame ideas, and finding outlets to house synergistic actions.

Building Civility Building

A major risk, vision, and action step for civility is to build an iconic “Civility Building” where Rotary, Colorado State University, City of Fort Collins, Northern Colorado, and the world uses collaborative space to teach, conduct research, and to practice civility toward humans and the environment through outreach programs.

Many programs could already fit into the Civility Building structure including:

  • Rotary’s peace centers, causes, 4-Way Test, community and people of action programs;
  • CSU’s peace, reconciliation, sustainability, one health, mindfulness, and free speech;
  • Fort Collin’s community and environmental engagement and first responders;
  • Everyone’s’ art, music, writing, speaking, social, psychological, educational, legal, political, business, international, and environmental initiatives.

Is the Civility Building risk worth our joint endeavors? Will we risk working together to put ideas and words into actions and outcomes literally and figuratively on the ground for people to join with us?  Can the risk of a Civility Building elevate our routine work toward something more cooperative, synergistic, wide reaching, locally and internationally renowned, and more amazing than the status quo? Can we find entrepreneurs willing to risk financial support and business acumen to match our people in action programs for amazing Civility Building that reaches out into the community and world?

What is the risk of not acting? Can we become players and not victims? Tell us if you will act with us.

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