Are you a civilized citizen?


Civilized is an adjective that describes the very opposite of barbarity. A civilized person is polite and courteous; he knows how to say “please” and “thank you.” A civilized group of people is characterized by being socially and technologically advanced. []

Two generations ago, we learned to Leave It To Beaver and Father Knew Best.  This was followed by The Brady Bunch, My Three Sons, and The Andy Griffith Show.

One generation ago, we had Family Ties, Full House, Growing Pains and The Wonder Years.  Family Matters, The Cosby Show, Saved by The Bell, and Married With Children were added to the mix.  (Beavis and Butthead, Futurama, The Simpsons, Family Guy and South Park grabbed the eyes of our youth.)

In the 2010’s Parenthood, Two and a Half Men, and Modern Family led the ratings for ‘family’ shows.

Whether Ed O’Neill is playing Al Bundy or Jay Pritchett, his role as a father seems significantly different from Robert Young or Fred MacMurray.  Now I realize that cars styles have changed, the landline has morphed into the cellphone, and literally millions of things have evolved over the last seventy years.  Religion, health care, energy, manufacturing, finances – nothing, it seems, has escaped the touch of change.

But I lament over what I consider the loss of civility, respect and other principles or values of a civil society.  Our nation was established, in part, due to the deep desire for personal liberties or freedom.  Each person possesses unalienable rights, per our Declaration of Independence (“…life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…”).  [By the way, it seems that this inate desire for personal freedoms is the tinder that needs only some spark to ignite a raging flame.]  Yet, in the absence of civility, it is difficult, if not impossible to advance the dialogue necessary to address our national (or local, community) interests.  That which was once commonplace, utterances of social graces, respect, integrity, honesty, listening as well as speaking, seeking to be understood and to understand, these have become like the dodo bird, the unicorn, and dinosaurs – extinct.  In all but a few circles, we want to be heard but do not want to hear any other view.  We demand our rights without consideration of other’s rights.  We want what we have and also what other’s have.  All this while major ramifications to our future go unaware, or else at least do not possess serious traction to provide hope for resolution.

Why care?  Healthcare.  Energy.  National Debt.  Value of the Dollar.  Ecology and Conservation.  Education.  Water.  Agriculture.  Pollution.  Mass Murder.  Religious Freedom.  Jail overpopulation.  Racism.  Terrorism (Domestic and International).  We no longer live in isolation from other nations.  Our local communities are very much affected by our surrounding communities.  Thus, we need to talk.  We need to listen.

And this has to start in the home.  The school system can reinforce family values of civility but if the parents are not modeling this behavior, the kids won’t either. We can be upset about an issue or about a person with whom we disagree.  We can debate, even fiercely, about issues we care about.  But each person faces similar difficulties and challenges as we all do.  Compassion, empathy, sympathy, mercy and grace need to become ingrained threads within the tapestry of our families, communities, and our nation.  It is okay to recognize our differences; however, we need to affirm our similarities as well.


Thank you.






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There is a difference – vs

There is a difference between and  Just sayin’.

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If you like deep, raw emotion, follow my friend –

The wildness of her writing reflects a sincere reflection of her personality and spirit.  Please follow her at:  Lion-Heart

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streaming consciousness

cat licking it’s butt; duplex living; pre-summer fire at night; missed flight & missed connection; snow and wind; drag queens; co-ed cohabitation; cleaning windshields; downtown boston; lion-heart; gift cards; softball; friends; road-trip planning; enjoy; #dayone #roadtrip

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Come Let Us Reason

Some may recognize the theme of the title from Isaiah 1:18.  Others may find the title an inviting call to civility and courtesy, two characteristics and behaviors that seem to have fallen out of fashion.

Albert Einstein, the famous scientist, is attributed to the quote, “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.

I am not sure what the argument might be against both logic and imagination.  These two siblings are well-represented with a healthy adult brain.  Reason and creativity.  They have helped us get to here.  Hopefully, they will be what we cling to in the years ahead.

But these are dark times.  I am one to lean towards the positive when it comes to a life view.  But I am also a realist that has taken into account the growing civil unrest and angst in both local and national levels.  Crimes continue to be horrific.  The cheating and lying and violence in corporate America and behind the front door of most homes has not abetted but rather taken the insidious nature of a disease.

Take a personal assessment.  Maybe it’s you or someone you live with or work with or with who you attend school.  How is their happiness quotient these days?

I will be addressing a variety of topics but I do not want to be just another voice, noise pollution in a noisy crowd.  And I welcome civility and courtesy in discourse.  Anger, yes.   Emotion, yes.  Vulgarity and unsubstantiated opinion can be left elsewhere.  State what you believe, what you think, and also answer the question ‘why?’ you take that stance.

Come, let us reason…together.

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Meaningful Mondays

The transition from weekend (more “me” time) to Monday, especially Monday mornings.  I know, others have different work schedules, but for me, I have had this same schedule since 1981.  So you would think I would get the hang of it.

And today, I got a little better at it. 

Physically, I slept around 7 hours – I could probably use more, but my sleep patterns are not ‘normal’.  (Saturday night, I think I got 2 hours of sleep in total, but a sleep a few hours before church, made it to church, then cleaned my car, ate, then napped until 5).

But the meat of my Monday came in several small moments:

– coached a fellow employee to see where he could improve and saw him take my suggestion.

– sincerely complimented my doctor, and saw a smile of appreciation (along with his verbal thanks).

– saw a look on my 79 year old father, a complex look of age, determination, yet along with warmth and kindess.

– hearing my mother laugh out loud like I haven’t heard for a long time (yes, she was laughing AT me!);

– and a nice Facebook conversation with my Colorado daughter while in my recliner, drinking a freshly made strawberry (fresh!) smoothie.

Mondays are a challenge, will always be a challenge.  Monday mornings especially need preparation, thought, and determination.  Attitude goes a long ways.  Allowing fellow employees to transition as well – hearing their stories, connecting.  And along with these things, look for the blessings or good things, meaningful things, along the way. 

That’s one of the cool things for me about blogging.  It’s not really a journal for me, but a way for me to communicate, express my thoughts and opinions, to reflect and opine, as well as lay a foundation for each new day.

Look out!  Tuesday morning is just around the corner…. (sneaky)….


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golf 9 in 120 but don’t ask

Nice day at the office.  Double Bacon Cheeseburger with melted cheese and gravy over fries, and cole slaw (why is cole slaw called cole slaw?) for lunch.  Backed up my 400+ gigabyte hard drive (going to have it formatted on Monday – fresh start = speed and less errors), then after work, visited my parents, who in their 70s went to watch mashed potato wrestling at the Fort Fairfield Maine Potato Blossom Festival with an aunt and uncle of mine. 

On my drive back to my apartment, the weather along with the temperature awoke my mental synapses to the possibility of nine holes of golf.  The first and only course that came to mind was the Limestone Country Club, owned and managed by Craig Phair and his wife.  $5 for 9 holes, $14 for a cart = good value.

Setting my address on hole one, the smells of the outdoors, the sound of birds engaged in conversation, the warm temperature, no breeze – man, just the atmosphere was worth the price of admission! 

I won’t bore with the details of my incredible ineptness at this sport.  I had no one ahead of me, and two young men behind me.  They brought me my seven iron that I had left on the first hole.  Thanks, guys.  I had some “HITECH” golf balls – pink – that I didn’t mind wandered into the trees.  Several balls bounced off the trees, one coming back at me at a high velocity.  My putting was solid – no 3 putts. 

Anyway, I made it through nine holes in less than 120 minutes.  I had an excellent time.  Arookstook County summer’s are not very long.  An evening like tonight was blissful.  The sunset on my way home was bold as the purple and pink of the twilight clouds yielded to the yellow ball.


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