2. Acknowledge others

"You exist, and this matters to me...I know that you monitor--as I do--our relationship; rest assured that, as far as, I am concerned, you and I are in reciprocal good standing."  --Dr. Forni



  1. Start a Senior Mentors program.  Develop a senior-freshman buddy/mentor project to encourage positive interaction and to smooth the freshman’s transition to high school.
  2. Have your group create a banner that represents each member and the group as a whole.  Think about members' names and individual likes and dislikes.  Discover something that all members have in common.  Discover something that is unique to each member. Develop a group name.  Represent all of these ideas in words and pictures.  (Great Group Games)
  3. Have each student create a bumper sticker that represents him or herself.  Use words, slogans, quotes, and pictures to design a bumper sticker that reperesents the "real you."  Once each student has created a bumper sticker, post all of the stickers somewhere where they can all be seen.  (Great Group Games)


Discussion questions:

  1. Dr. Forni writes about one of his first bus rides in the United States and how the passengers treated the bus driver.  What did the other passengers do that Dr. Forni found so surprising?  How do you think this action affected the bus driver? How does that relate to your definition of civility?
  2. How would you feel if someone who says hello to you, every morning, skips a morning?
  3. Should you wait for others to acknowledge you? Why or why not?
  4. On page 43, Dr. Forni gives an example of failure to acknowledge someone in a store. Three upsetting things happen in this story. What are they? How could they have been prevented?
  5. A well known football coach once said, "Winning isn’t everything - it’s the only thing." What do you think of that philosophy? In what ways might a philosophy such as this impact civility.  Another coach once said, "Success in athletics isn't about victories, defeats, trophies, medals, ribbons, fame, fortune or statistics." What do you think he meant by that? Do you agree, or disagree? Why?
  6. How does acknowledging others help us to be civil?