Civility and Chivalry

A recent edition of the Utah Bar Journal includes an essay addressing the need for “Civility and Chivalry.”  While written with attorneys in mind, the message has relevance and application for the makers and influencers of public policy, as well.  In the essay, Sutherland Adjunct Fellow and director of the Marriage Law Foundation, William C. Duncan, observes, “The willingness to take on obligations higher than those required of the average person is…a hallmark of professionalism…Like chivalry, the idea of civility helps us understand that even in a heated contest…opponents have a claim on our courtesy.”  He adds, “A resurgence of the ethic of civility…will take a series of individual commitments and a resulting collective shift in attitude and aims.  The shift could re-introduce…the valuable idea that, no matter the goal, some things ought not be done and that there are things we ought to do even if we can’t see that they will help us win.”

To read the essay, click this link and scroll to pages 18 and 19:http://www.utahbar.org/barjournal/pdf/2006_nov_dec.pdf.