Promoting Civility

Being neighbors to a Masonic community, the tenets of brotherly love, relief, and truth are also values Acacia Creek strives for. Along with these tenets, we follow our successful aging mission to “build and maintain a positive atmosphere of growth for residents and team members” and to create a supportive family environment. In my 30+ years of working in senior living, I have never seen a community that matches what Acacia Creek has achieved. We continually evolve as new residents and team members join the community and others leave us.

We saw this three years ago when residents worked together with Russ Charvonia—Past Grand Master and author of the book Civility Mosaic—to create a set of civility standards to bring our community even closer together. These standards remind us of our core values of respect and affinity for all. They aid us in the growth of our community and deepen our fellowship. By working to promote civility in our community, we help to create better understanding in our greater community/society.

Residents were all given a copy of the civility standards and I keep a copy at my desk to reference. The standard that has stood out to me is that we presume decency in others. It reminds me to stay curious and non-judgmental about people. When we presume decency, it reminds us that there is a difference between a person’s character and their behavior. When we are upset, we are not at our best and can display uncivil behavior. Rather than reacting to the upset and matching the uncivil behavior, try asking questions to deescalate situations. Asking clarifying questions such as: who, what, when, where, how, in order to understand more about the person we are talking to, gives us a better understanding of what they are trying to communicate.

Being mindful of building better communication and understanding keeps our community strong and allows us to be civility role models. Below are our community civility standards for you to reference and share as you see fit.

  • Acacia Creek is our home, and we all have the same rights, privileges, and responsibilities.
  • Acacia Creek is a safe environment, both physically and emotionally.
  • We continue to grow as individuals and as a community.
  • We are grateful to be part of this community.
  • We treat everyone—residents and team members—with dignity and respect.
  • We presume decency in others.
  • The Masonic tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth are good guides for how we treat one another.
  • The 4 Cardinal Virtues of Masonry, Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence and Justice are good reminders for how we handle ourselves.
  • Each of us maintains trust by being truthful, honest, and transparent; showing respect; and maintaining confidentiality. We respect the limitations under HIPAA and other confidentiality laws.
  • We will gently and privately admonish each other of our errors; and in the most friendly manner, attempt to bring about a reformation.
  • All voices deserve to be heard; people with dissenting views have a responsibility to speak them.
  • When we don’t agree, we will disagree respectfully.
  • We will not talk over or at the same time as another.
  • I will ask for help when I need it.
  • Be curious.

Each of us will keep the best interest of our community in mind, recognizing we each bring our own perspective and points of view to the situation. We will work to understand, and to be understood.

Penny Vittoria
Successful Aging Coach

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