Follow up: An Open Letter to Provo



A couple days ago, during one of our AMA (Ask Me Anything) a tweeter named @Trev4 asked me this question, “@Curtisut was your open letter about a civil discourse received how you thought it would be? Would you publish it again?”

The answer to the first question is no. The response I received from An Open Letter to Provo and Utah Residents was far more than I could’ve imagined. As of right now, it is the most-read post on my blog of all time – with over 27,000 unique views. The post received over 4,000 shares on Facebook and was even featured on Glenn Beck’s program.

I heard from so many of you that the sentiments in the letter resonated. I appreciate the time people took to let me know. Perhaps my favorite email came from a resident named Chris who felt inspired to do better.

“I heard your letter on the radio this morning. And I wanted to respond by pledging to you and to our community that I am going to be better at being civil.

I’m going to be civil with the people I love and am closest to because sometimes I forget. I’m going to be civil with people I don’t love so much, even telemarketers, and even the ones I’ve repeatedly asked to remove me from their lists. I’m going to assume the best motives in people who don’t see things the way I do. I pledge to be civil even when I don’t like the ideas or outcomes of those who disagree with me.

So thanks for the reminder. It came at a good time for me.”

As for the second question in @Trev4’s tweet, “Would I publish again?” Absolutely. Even though this post brought out my critics (some who proved my point that civility is needed!) I wouldn’t hesitate to publish anything that helps move the community conversation in the right direction. I’m grateful to those—agree with me or not—who get involved in meaningful, diplomatic ways.

As always, thanks Provo for your support and engagement as we go about doing better.



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  1. John

    The letter was absolutely needed. Ignore those critics, Provo is in a good place right now.

    Elder Oaks’ devotional at BYU this week echoed the sentiment. Your letter was spot on.

  2. Sherry

    So grateful for you and all those who try to be kind in their dealings with others. The world sure could use more kindness and civility!!

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