by Carol Riley, Copy Editor

Loyal readers of the Voice have come to expect our “center- fold” Spotlight article to be about local community organizations that make a difference, entertain us, educate us. This month’s Spotlight article has a much broader reach, a world view. Elena Salaks, a Port Ludlow resident, shares with us her heart-wrenching story of her journey to the war-torn borders of Ukraine. In the telling, she says at one point that “her heart hurt.” Our hearts will hurt as well as we read about the experiences she had and the people she met. Most of us cannot do what Elena was able to do—so instead we do what we can do. We give financially, we donate toiletries, we send clothes and shoes and other needed items, and we pray.

There is something else we can do. We can practice kindness and civility here. May was International Civility Month. I had hoped to write an article for the May Voice about it because it resonated so with me, but time and deadlines happened, and I didn’t. Civility is becoming a lost art and the purpose of International Civility Month, started in 2009, is to raise awareness on the decline of civility around the world. It is said that civility is a key component in our overall image and plays a huge role in our day-to-day interactions.

Civility is becoming a matter of concern regarding how people conduct themselves in social and professional situations. Civility has one golden rule: treat others how you would like them to treat you. It reminds me of the book, All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten, by R. Fulghum, a basic, common-sense approach to life situations. The proponents of civility suggest that we undertake a 31-day civility challenge with suggested acts of civility for each day of the month. Some of the more basic ones are good reminders in these trying times: say please and thank you, make eye contact (does that mean I have to put down my phone?), have a positive attitude, don’t interrupt, be proud of your appearance, tip fairly, and more.

Maybe we can’t go to Ukraine, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make a difference in the world, in our country, in our county, in our beautiful Village in the Woods by the Bay.