Virtues of Tolerance and Civility | Modeling Good Behavior for our Children

Dear Casady Community,

This weekend, as I tried to make sense of the events that unfolded across our country, I realized just how important it is for us, as adults in our children's lives, to model the behavior we want to see in our children.

Our children deserve to see adults who model good behavior. Adults with opposing strong beliefs can, at the same time, share the virtues of tolerance and civility. Hatred and violence are never virtues—they’re what people succumb to or resort to rather than aspire to. Our children need to see in us the commitment to and belief in genuine ideas along with the tolerance to respect, to listen, and to have dialogue with those who don't share our same commitments. This civility allows for healthy, respectful disagreement between people with different thoughts and opinions and allows us to value diversity and to respect and accept people for who they are and for the virtues we share.

So, as you think about how you talk to your children about the recent violence and threatening events and try to make sense of it all, I want to encourage you to remember that we are resilient and good people. I am confident we will rise above the hatred we have seen recently. We will come together and remember that we can disagree and yet remain committed to our beliefs and be civil and tolerant of one another.

I share a few discourses with you that you might consider reading before talking with your children in age-appropriate ways about the violence that has happened during the past week. I also invite you to disagree with the articles and understand your choice to not use any of them. I, along with our Director of Psychological Services, simply want to provide you with options.
Vices like hatred and violence often steal the headlines, whereas the virtues of respect and civility too often go unseen. We are better than the headlines we have seen recently, and we want our children to see that we will be civil and respectful with each other.

Nathan L. Sheldon
Casady School is an independent, co-educational, college preparatory, Episcopal day school serving students in pre-k-12. Educating Mind, Body, and Spirit.