The shooting at the Holocaust Museum, the murder of the doctor who performed late term abortions, the shooting of the recruiter and other similar events are indications that the willingness to reason, negotiate, and compromise is sorely missing in our civic life. Rhetoric has risen to a fever pitch. At a time when we should be celebrating the gains we have achieved in our democracy, we are letting an extreme element of society sew seeds of hatred and distrust.

It is way past time to return to a path of reason. Because we disagree with each other does not make either of us evil. There is no way to justify murder. There is an overwhelming need to soften our national and local discourse. The cities of Charleston and North Charleston have established Say Something Nice Day. Many of our churches celebrate Say Something Nice Sunday; however, even that modest attempt at more civil dialogue has brought forth unbelievable criticism of, “An attempt to create an atmosphere of anything goes.” Nothing could be further from the truth. The message is that we have the ability to disagree without descending into viciousness. We will never agree on all the issues great and small that divide us; however, we are capable of respecting one another and if we search diligently we can find some common ground.

The month of June is National Better Communication Month. Why not give a more civil tone a try? Why not try to speak with less fire and more reason? Why not tune the hate merchants out at least for this month? The return to civility starts with each one of us. We can each be an example of mature reason and communication.