Our mission is to help people learn what Civil Discourse and Civility are and how to use it to communicate and find Common Ground when opinions differ.
Incivility is difficult to define but easy to recognize, especially for people it harms. Civil Discourse at its best is an exchange of information, speech or writing that is includes facts and shows polite consideration of others, even when the parties disagree. Incivility includes nonverbal gestures and actions that offend.
On the other side of the issue, Evil Speech is derogatory, disparaging or belittling and is to be avoided even if it is thought to cause no harm. Statements might not be derogatory but still cause harm to a person or property. Evil Speech includes gossip.
Comments we make can be evil even when they are true. If they are lies, it is worse.
We believe that unless we learn how to talk more civilly, we are doomed because Evil Speech can pollute everything we do.
Better Outcomes strives to help people find Common Ground, which is usually seen as an area of understanding of each other’s position that allows parties can reach agreement.
We believe the solution to these issues comes by recognizing our humanness in that we all have the same basic needs, but we all do some things differently. We also recognize that people tend to emphasize their differences before learning to appreciate the similarities.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid was asked by CNBC who would be the 2016 Republican nominee for president. He said "You know, I don't really care, they're all losers."
Before the primaries, before the debates, before we are even a year from the elections, politicians seek to characterize their opponents in a negative light. In this case, Reid is attempting more than predicting they will not win the office, he seems to be suggesting they are "losers" in the way you might sneer at your neighbor who doesn't keep up his house or the petty criminal who can't keep a job.
Many Americans know nothing about most of the politicians who hope to be president. Did you know there are at least 20 right now? To cast them as "losers" is to try to influence the public's perception before the candidates get a word out of their mouths.
You might ask, "Why is this damaging, politicians do this all the time?" Yes, this is very common but it stands as a cloud between a candidate's message and potential voters. It damages the candidates in a way that can be difficult and costly to overcome. The opinion of a prominent politician like Reid carries weight, even if it is false and irrelevant. Voters will remember this when they encounter the Republicans in the future. They might also change their opinion of Reid.
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We are a young organization. We want your opinion (email us) and we need donations for basic expenses, marketing, maintenance of our website, and the assistance of students who will help arrange and schedule Candidate Conversations over this year’s election cycle.
If you are interested in helping financially, we ask that you donate in multiples of $18. This is because in the Old Testament, the value of the Hebrew word for “life” is 18. We think the symbolism is important. These donations are tax-deductible.
Electronic donations are coming. If you would like to donate now, and avoid bank and credit card charges, please mail a check or money order to us at:
1779 Kemery Road
Akron, OH 44333
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