Is civility an undervalued value at Riderwood?

by Beth Gordon
Riderwood resident

“American values” have often been discussed in the media recently. This has led me to think about my values. They are likely similar to the values of my friends and neighbors here at Riderwood — Love for America, my adopted country. Respect for our Constitution and our democratic system of government. Respect for persons regardless of their race, religion or opinions. The Four Freedoms (freedom of speech and worship; freedom from want and fear). That’s just a partial list.

I applaud the work of Riderwood’s CommUNITY Living Committee which focuses on actions and events to foster neighborliness and the Golden Rule of living – do unto others as we would like them to do to us.

I call that civility – a value which I fear is undervalued here at Riderwood. I’ve noted instances where residents have been scorned for their opinions which often results in fearful silence. Freedom from fear is an important value to be encouraged in our conversations.

In an article on civility in the Washington Post’s Outlook section on March 12, the author (Oxford Professor Teresa Bejan) states an important conclusion: “To live together, we must be able to talk to one another; the fate of our own tolerant society hangs in the balance.”

Civility is the cornerstone of community living. May it be evident in all our conversations with residents and staff.


“Civility is like a wonderful boomerang; if you send it out, it’s bound to come back to you.”

-Sujata Massey

– CommUNITY Living Committee

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