Monday, September 24, 2012

Civility Week 39, September 24, 2012

“Let nothing steal your joy!”
My daughter was having a rough day at work, nothing horrible but a day full of those little cripes and complaints that tend to get you down.  She is a hard worker and always tries to put on a happy smiling face to other people. But today she was getting pelted with temptations to think the whole world was going to heck in a hand basket.   She stopped in one of the departments of the store she works and one of the employees stopped her and said, “You just always have such a wonderful smile on your face! You just light up the room wherever you go!”

It was just the thing she needed to remind her that no body can steal your joy!

It’s hard to work day in and day out wearing a smile on your face, not letting the busyness of life or all the bad news on the internet get you down. As a parent, raising kids, you begin to get worried about the world you’ve brought your children into; is it safe? Will they find someone good to be friends with? To love?

Part of the lesson on civility this year has been to me at least, in learning to be civil I cannot let people or events steal my joy. And I should be careful not to steal other people’s joy. If I’m feeling bad or down, trying hard not to let that rub off on someone else can be difficult. But it’s a lesson to be learned. Why bring everyone else down? 

Part of being a civil society is being positive and hopeful.  It’s that hope and positive attitude that helps make us civil toward each other.

So, don’t let the world make you uncivil and never, EVER let the world or other people, steal your joy!

It’s yours to keep, forever!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Civility Week 38, September 17, 2012

Civility is not something that automatically happens. Civil societies come about because people want them to." –
Jimmy Bise Jr, Us and Them: A Blog conversation Survival Guide, SXSW 2006

It’s true that civility doesn’t just happen, just like morality doesn’t just happen or kindness, forgiveness. All of these virtues need work to bring them about and to keep them in society. In the age of technology, machines that can do a lot of our work, I think sometimes we have forgotten that there are things in this world and in our society that take work, they cannot be ignored and thought to go forward by themselves.

We are all constantly learning how to walk. Did you realize that? We learned how to walk when we were babies, crawling, cruising, the tottering step and finally, freedom!!! Running!  But as we age, we find ourselves concentrating on walking still. We take it for granted until we have an injury and need a crutch, an Ace bandage, a wheelchair.  Then once again we must re-learn how to walk. Sometimes it’s arthritis that makes us look at how we walk, or over exercising, running or sports. We begin to examine how we walk, look at the shoes we wear. How can we get comfortable walking again?

Civility is like that. We have had it in society for so long and now we gone and broken or sprained it. It’s not un-repairable, but it hurts and we need to fix it by reminding ourselves to be civil and help others be civil especially our kids and students because they should not inherit something broken!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

One of those days when you wonder...why am I doing what I am doing?

I am so behind on my civility blog this week. In fact, it may not get done because I'm having a crisis of everything week...why do I write? Why do I try to please everybody and therefore nobody? I've been stressed at work and apparently have not been very good at hiding it...people are afraid to ask me questions and told me so...ouch.

I guess I should go ahead and call this blog #37 for civility but it just doesn't feel very civil. I mean, have I learned anything and if I have why isn't it showing yet? Am I talking the talk but not walking the walk?
Somebody out there answer I just write to thin air? What purpose does my writing serve?

I get an idea for something to write even just for myself and the doubts wash over me like the stupid raft on the Arkansas River when I fell out of the boat during the rapid run.
I hope and pray next week is better.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Civility Week 36, September 3, 2012

Play wild, stay civilized” The ‘Rivermen’ of West Virginia  (Adventures on the Gorge)

I love this tagline found on the Rivermen’s website. Several summers ago my father-in-law took the entire family out east to adventure on the New River.  I receive emails and updates from this adventurous place all the time and their new tagline is “Play wild, stay civilized.”

Their tagline means that you can go whitewater rafting, hang gliding, mountain climbing, zip lining and much more but stay inside nice air conditioned cabins. But I’m going to use it like this:

Play wild, stay civilized: You can have fun in life, look at life as one big adventure, but you can also stay civilized, as in using manners, nice language, keep your elbows off the table, sort of thing!

And civility is just that; having fun in life, being all you can be, but remembering to not step on other people’s toes. 

While Daniel Boone decried crowded conditions in the towns he created and always wanted to move on, “Elbow room cried Daniel Boone,”  we live in cities and suburbs where we can usually find room to do things so we don’t run over other people while doing it. (okay beside high speed car driving, but go read last week’s blog for THAT answer!)

I have a cousin who takes people white water rafting in Montana. He loved wide open spaces as a kid and he still loves those places. He found what works for him by moving there and enjoying those spaces while still having a wife and family around him.

We can still be civilized while talking about governmental policies, neighborhood watch, and day to day existence. If we can’t we cannot call our society civilized.

We may not run every meeting with Roberts Rules of Order, but most of us decry shouting matches in place of public debate. We cringe when we hear angry words from a neighbor’s house.

In short, most of us like to get along peaceful like and would like our neighbors AND politicians to do likewise.

When my kids were little, if a disagreement popped up between them it was sit down time. No shouting matches allowed or finger pointing. We sat the two or three disagreeing parties down and everyone had a chance to talk.  We didn’t necessarily need the “talking stick” as was featured on the Dennis Quad, Rene Russo version of “Yours Mine and Ours” but took turns airing grievances and resolving the issue at hand.

Maybe if our government was run more like a family we could do the same with disagreeing factions.  There was a reason God created a man and a woman to have a family together. You need a male side and a female side not only for creating new life, but for keeping the peace In the house! Each gender has something to share and help keep the peace!!