Sense of Community

(Photo courtesy Missouri State University)

Since we've been talking this week about the issue of civility and civil discourse in Springfield, there's a program here at Missouri State University that deals every day with those very issues: the Center for Dispute Resolution, a part of the MSU Department of Communication. The Center provides numerous services and support programs to help individuals, organizations and communities deal with conflict in positive and productive ways.  And they can boast an impressive record of success in this area. So we thought the Center's Director and Associate Director, Dr. Charlene Berquist and Heather Blades, would have some valuable insight into the problem and creating, and maintaining, civil discourse in a society that seems to be geared toward everything but civility. 

Michele Skalicky

At times it seems that civility is dead.  People are constantly at odds with one another, and shouting matches are all too common, especially online.  Social media is often used as a battleground where people who disagree on various issues fight with words.   People who were once friends no longer talk because their political or other beliefs are different.  

Despite that, there are many things happening in the Ozarks that show civility and attempts to understand one another are, in fact, very much alive.