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Pledge of Civility

by | Aug 9, 2019

In response to the constant toxic language being used in our cultural, religious, and political discourse, our columnist, Jody Seymour, offers the following “Pledge of Civility.”

I pledge to refrain from using labels to describe people realizing that words make a difference because words have power. When advocating my particular ideology, political view, or religious belief I will speak about concepts not about people. I acknowledge that to demean another human being is to lessen the cause which I espouse. I affirm that though I might believe I am right it does not necessarily mean that the person or group with whom I disagree is completely wrong. I pledge to not allow my zeal for my belief to overshadow the reality that all people are of sacred worth and that the words I use to describe that which I disagree with carry the possibility to harm others. I hereby assert that the fabric of the human community is vital to the ongoing quality of life and that to use words that denigrate another person is to damage that fabric. I shall remember the wisdom saying: “Three things that can never come back; the spent arrow, the spoken word, and the lost opportunity.” I promise to refrain from using words that would be arrows of harm so that I shall not lose the opportunity to build up rather than tear down.

Dr. Jody Seymour

Jody Seymour retired after serving Davidson United Methodist Church as Senior Pastor for 13 years and being a pastor for forty-six years in the Western North Carolina Conference. He is the author of six books and resides just outside of Davidson with his wife, Betsy.

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