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!!



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