…Keep it civil…
Guest blogger alert! Guest blogger alert! For the second time in the 2WC’s history, OMC is being given a day with the microphone (metaphorically speaking… er, writing…).
For those newish to the site (or who have just been too lazy to read the about tab – you know who you are, drive-by followers), a brief explanation to set up today’s topic is where we will start. As the proud father of twin daughters and one son, I needed to start early in the training of safe driving, so the One Man Crusade to Restore Civility to Modern Day Driving (OMC for short) was born. The driving principle (pun intended) of the crusade was to cut people some slack and try to be polite and helpful – if everyone let the do-do head in the black Mercedes cut in front rudely, perhaps eventually the do-do head would begin to yield to others and allow them to lawfully merge as well (full disclosure – not sure this worked too well in the grand scheme of drivers, but it did succeed in raising three accident-free drivers).
And the word we will pull from that lengthy intro is …civility. I recognize I may be about 9 months too late for our Presidential candidates (when did “Presidential” quit meaning dignified, statesman-like and classy?), but I hold out hope for the rest of us. I do NOT agree with everything that my friends and acquaintances may say or believe, but I do try to politely listen and understand their viewpoint. I do NOT immediately decide that if they feel differently about __________ (fill in the blank – Hillary, racism, Donald, the St. Louis Cardinals, puppy dogs and rainbows, etc, etc) that this means they are the spawn of Satan and unworthy of breathing the air that I breathe (well, with the possible exception of Cub fans…) – it just might mean we disagree.
Disagreement is normal, healthy and frequently the starting point for real change. If we can just allow that perhaps the other side has at least a nugget of truth and sincerity in their viewpoint, then we can begin to work together instead of against one another. Don’t mistake civility for timidity – you can be respectful of another while disagreeing passionately with their viewpoint. Just don’t take their point of view and disregard it as evil or stupid or completely unworthy of consideration – you do so at your own risk and at the risk of having your own viewpoints considered the same.
Ah, enough of that – the OMC has a birthday to celebrate. Having just endured my 14th Leap Day, I recognize that perspectives change. As a child, the every fourth year of an additional February day was sheer torture, delaying the satisfaction of gifts and my birthday meal (hot dogs – what can I say, I was a cheap date); as an adult, it means one extra day before I have to punch in a new number on the treadmill for my age. Wherever you are and whatever you may be doing, have a great day full of tolerance, kindness and dare I say, civility…
OMC – out!!!
…just for fun: