To Be Civil: A Means to a Better World. What does it mean to be civilized? An essay about the elements that help one become a civilized individual. Uses literary refrences to enhance the text.

Essay by claremarieJunior High, 9th gradeA+, January 2004

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To Be Civil: A Means to a Better World

If one were to look in many dictionaries, the meaning of the word civil would be different in each one. This is because a single definition cannot describe what it means to be civilized. The meaning is different for every person because every person's individual values and morals are different. Religion, conflict and compromise, exploration, communication, organization, and rational thinking all contribute to being civilized. Through an examination of these factors one can attempt to explain what it means to be civilized.

Religion affects people greatly. In the epic story The Odyssey, the main character Odysseus often relies on the gods to help him through his many adventures. Religion is important to society because it gives people a sense of right and wrong; a sense which every society needs. Religion also provides spirituality and guidance, which helps to keep people grounded.

In George Orwell's Animal Farm, the animals do not follow any religious principles and suffer because of this. There is rarely a perception of right or wrong, and many of the animals have no sense of spirituality and are not grounded because of this.

Being able to resolve conflict in an appropriate manner is a mark of a civilized society. Conflict arises in everyday life, and in order to be civilized one must deal with conflict in a mature and appropriate manner. Compromise is one way in which to resolve conflict. When one is brought face to face with one's opponent and forced to listen, learn, and mend one's own beliefs; one must collaborate, compromise, and communicate in order to pursue one's beliefs. In some instances war can also be justified as a civilized way to resolve conflict. In such circumstances a society must look closely at the...