civility Tag

Students having productive small-group conversation on a Kindness Retreat

Seven Civil Conversation Skills to Use When You Disagree

Everyone wants to be heard, from kids, to grown-ups, to long-lost relatives across the holiday table. But too often, we steer clear of the issues we really care about, hovering instead on weather patterns and sports news.

These days, even those issues can feel risky.

Every topic worth discussing carries the risk of conflict, and we, as a society, seem to be losing our knack for disagreement.

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Joe's meeting with F.W. de Klerk in South Africa

A Lesson in Empathy from South Africa’s F.W. de Klerk

By Joe Cavanaugh, Youth Frontiers Founder and CEO

This school year, with the support of our Board of Directors, I’ve been able to step back and spend time in some fascinating places with the intent to “see the other more completely” and build the vision for the next 30 years of Youth Frontiers. Recently, I had the opportunity to study, volunteer and work in South Africa, meeting with many amazing people who are doing good work to heal the deep emotional scars of Apartheid. My experiences and the people that I met have reinforced my belief in the importance of the Youth Frontiers mission and the values we teach students every day: moral courage, empathy and respect for human dignity.READ MORE

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A Note on Perspective

By Joe Cavanaugh, Founder & CEO of Youth Frontiers

Recently, I came across the quote: “We need to not see more rightly, but rather more completely.” How does one do this in our polarized society? We tend to shout about how “right” we are – about political candidates, positions on gun control or bathroom access – and in the process drown out the opinions of those who disagree with us. However, seeing more completely involves listening and remaining open to perspectives differing from our own.READ MORE

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My Daughter, My Path to Reflection

By Joe Cavanaugh, Founder and CEO

Before my daughter Tess was born, I was always running from here to there, trying to accomplish as much as possible in what felt like as little time as possible. Sitting quietly, reflecting or meditating do not come naturally to me. Even when I would try to pause, far too often, the everyday pressures and daily grind would begin to creep in, swiftly ending my attempts to slow down and breathe.READ MORE

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