Henry A. Wallace Quote – Supreme Criterion

Henry A Wallace QuoteImagine walking through a park and seeing the roof of a shed covered in green mossy life. Would you take time to notice and feel a sense of awe and reverence?   

This quote by the intellectual statesman and scientist Henry A. Wallace demonstrates that he felt that discovery and understanding the vastness of life was important.

The ability to understand life in all its varied manifestations is the supreme criterion of man.

Do you think taking time to notice and to better understand life can make a difference? If so, how?

Graphic of CultivateThe Seeds of Civility is a blog that is created by The Wallace Centers of Iowa.  We cultivate conversations about leading (and developing emerging leaders) with civility.

Appreciation: Insight from #PeopleSkills Chat – Feb 15, 2015

Following along and learning from Kate Nasser’s weekly twitter chat has proved to be insightful.  This is the third post based on learnings from the chat.  The first week was about optimism and diligence and the second week was about silence.

So far, all the topics related to people skills connect to the concept of civility because it is the small actions and the skillfully applied behaviors we take as individuals that lead to respect for others.  We don’t have to wait for respect to give respect.  According the author P.M. Forni, we can choose civility.

This week, rather than list all ten questions, the focus here will be on Question 8

Are people more likely to appreciate others like them or different from them? Why?

A few comments to ponder….

Henry Wallace quote on diversity

Henry A. Wallace spoke about needing differences, or in his words, “all kinds.”  While it is easiest to appreciate what we know, a deeper and compassionate look at others can lead to appreciation, respect and better outcomes.  For those that decide to appreciate others, you become a seed in the process of creating a more civil workplace.

Graphic of Cultivate Seeds of Civility is a blog that is created by The Wallace Centers of Iowa.  Here we cultivate conversations about civility in the workplace.

Compassion: An Antidote to Incivility

Graphic of a quote by Henry A. WallaceConsider this quote by Henry A. Wallace, a statesman, scientist and leader from an earlier generation.  It suggests his approach to incivility.

Today, we still see faces distorted by anger. The hunger Wallace describes can be seen as a metaphor for not being heard, understood, or a condition from trauma of a difficult situation encountered earlier in life.  When we see an angry face, we just don’t know what caused the face to be angry.

Prior to what historians now call the civil rights movement, Wallace faced angry faces and hateful reactions during his travels in the South.  He saw the pain in the faces of angry people as a symptom of their state.  It probably does not mean he excused them for their actions, he just knew that at that particular moment their actions were a sign of their emotions rather than a expression of their character.  He had the presence of mind to not aggravate their stress.Re-Think Angry Faces Photo

Researchers suggest that we are wired to see facial expressions and react with a flight or fight response.  So compassion must be intentional and developed at time when we are not in stressful situations.

Getting to the state of compassion comes from a personal decision.  A person needs to get there on his or her own.  Like the whole concept of civility, compassion  cannot be mandated.

There are models of compassion out there.  Who comes to mind as a model of compassion.  What have these models of compassion done to get there?

plant seeds graphicSeeds of Civility is a blog that is created by The Wallace Centers of Iowa.  Here we plant seeds of inspiration for your daily life.