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New Feature: What Does Civility Mean?

Know someone who's making our community better? Tell us.

Based on the assumption that each individual is capable of philanthropy, no matter the form of that philanthropy (time, money, knowledge or effort), l encourages individuals and groups to get involved and work together to make communities stronger. 

It is on these underpinnings that live civilly—a registered 501c3 non-profit—will produce a series of articles on Moorestown Patch—under the banner of "Moorestown Lives Civilly"—highlighting good works that benefit our community at large. If you know of a group or an individual who should be highlighted please contact us via our webpage at contact@livecivilly.org, subject line: Acts of Civility.

What prompted this article? Well, a conversation around the live civilly boardroom table (otherwise known as the dining room table) centered on the discussion of what “civility” really means. By its definition, civility is “1. The study of the rights and duties of citizenship; the role of the citizens within a society as opposed to the role of the government. 2. Polite acts or expression.” It is the first definition that intrigues us the most.  

It led us to a conversation where we asked: What is our responsibility to our community? What are our duties as individual citizens? Is it merely to pay our taxes? Or is it more? Should it be more?  

The collective decision at the table was our duties should be to help improve our community through any means possible. That age-old adage of, “If you’re not part of the solution then you must be part of the problem,” comes to mind.

But the first definition needs the second one with it. Because without polite acts or expression we are not a positive influence in our community. Without the common courtesy to engage in constructive discourse, exhibiting respect and gratitude to those we engage with—no matter what our cause, no matter how noble the endeavor—we are not acting civilly.

So this is our challenge to our readers: What is your duty? What positive influence can you exhibit today? We do see it—whether it’s citizens banding together to , or concerned adults realizing a need in their school community and providing food and clothing for disadvantaged children, or one child reaching out to the lonely child in class by way of a seat next to them—this is what we live for. This is “living civilly.”

Send us your stories about people in the community living civilly and on the last Tuesday of every month, Moorestown Patch will publish them. 

In February, live civilly will highlight on our website the essays written by Moorestown students about “What it means to live civilly.” These essays were and faculty during “Civility Week” in November.

We want to hear more about the positive influences in our community. And so does everyone else.

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