Archive for the ‘ Civil Behavior ’ Category

What You See is What You Get!

Posted by Mimi Meredith at Friday, December 30th, 2011 10:46 am

My top ten thoughts moving into the new year…

If what you see is bleak and discouraging, fix it. It will take work and patience…a lot of it. Sometimes your efforts don’t pay off in the ways you expect or as quickly as you’d like. This used to be less of a surprise to people, but then we became a society conditioned for immediate gratification and ease of operation. So make this a year for less whining and more working.
If you want to see more kindness, more love, more patience…then practice it. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve wasted wishing a situation would improve without first working to improve myself. See number one.
If you don’t like what you see everyday and option number one isn’t working, see it differently. Maybe you’ve conditioned yourself to focus on the negative in a situation or a soul. Changing your perspective may even mean you see another person’s view. (Yikes…that sounds so uncomfortable and awkward. And what if it means I wasn’t completely right?) So go find a new view.… Click here for the rest of the post

When People Bug the Crap Out of You

Posted by Mimi Meredith at Thursday, July 14th, 2011 10:54 am

Did Mimi just say “crap” in a headline?
Yes indeed. I’m having one significant learning opportunity after another today, and why not be perfectly honest about it?
There are people in my life who really bug me. Bill Dorman wrote about the types of coworkers and leaders who can be especially irritating. Just reading his list brought to mind immediate examples of those who manipulate meetings, seek the spotlight and have no idea how to effectively communicate without injecting drama or personal issues.
I can even see how I might fall into the irritant role now and then. *gasp* I know…just when you thought I was practically perfect in every way.
Here’s where I am far from perfect–exercising patience with people who bug me. I have to say, I just want to squish them and move on. How’s that for being a channel of goodness?
Here’s the distinction: if I don’t interact with a “bugger” regularly, I am much more mature and professional in my response. I act just like a person who teaches other people how to get along.… Click here for the rest of the post

Swing Chair Saturday–Live Less Critically

Posted by Mimi Meredith at Saturday, July 9th, 2011 10:20 am

Why do we call it “defending our opinion?”
Is someone going to take it away from us? Is the mere challenge to our established convictions enough to make us take up strategic positions as we batten down the hatches of our mind?
I’ve been thinking a great deal about civility lately. It is, after all, one of my key topics, and a fundamental component of communication structures that allow people to engage and flourish.  I’m also working on a keynote to share with some college students in August on the topic.
I want to challenge those college freshman to think differently about the discourse in which opinions are shared. I believe our nation, and particularly its political system, is no longer about nurturing an exchange of ideas but is instead about the freedom to mindlessly insult and argue.
Now here’s the thing. I really like to argue and I’m pretty good at it. Sometimes, I like to argue in a healthy “here’s my point, there’s your point…ah ha…so here’s a bigger, better point” kind of way. Other times, it’s… Click here for the rest of the post

Happy Interdependence Day

Posted by Mimi Meredith at Sunday, July 3rd, 2011 8:52 am

This post was originally published on July 3, 2008.

My family has been watching the HBO series John Adams on DVD. It seemed quite fitting that last night, on the eve of the Fourth of July, we were watching the episode regarding the development of the Declaration of Independence. In remembering those months in 1776, there is more to be gained than just a refresher on the principles that led to the country’s creation. While casting a new mold for a free and independent country, the value of civility and interdependence was also revealed.
Think how many different perspectives were gathered in the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia—certainly as many as the 56 participants. And think of the consensus building required to fully and fairly represent the 13 colonies from which they were appointed, much less to unanimously call for a new and independent union.
Among those men, there was great argument, oratory and tireless debate, but there was also an abiding respect and decorum that allowed them to honor one another’s perspectives. I think there is a great lesson there.… Click here for the rest of the post

How to Honor Memorial Day

Posted by Mimi Meredith at Monday, May 30th, 2011 10:18 am

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the men and women who serve in the Armed Forces.
I’ve wondered what it must have felt like to be one of the Navy Seals who raided the Bin Laden compound. I did not feel elated over the death of Osama Bin Laden–in fact, I had a very heavy heart that night. But I am grateful for the skill, the courage and the leadership exemplified by those who were part of that operation.
I’ve been thinking about Captain Dan Sundberg. He’s one of my favorite new friends. He happens to be engaged to my niece, Laura Secor.

Dan and Laura last July

Dan is an Army Captain with the 10th Mountain Division. In March, he deployed to the Zharay District of the Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, where he is stationed with the 4-25 Field Artillery in Ghundy Ghar.
Dan’s letters, which my niece shares, give a glimpse into his life there…everything from his appreciation for the history of the area (the written history goes back 2,000 years. They are located on a hill… Click here for the rest of the post

Help Storm Victims Now

Posted by Mimi Meredith at Thursday, May 26th, 2011 11:59 am

I just spent the morning cleaning my cabin in a beautiful little corner of Montana. It is my second home.
Sometimes I complain about cleaning our houses.
Did that make anyone else wince? A complaint over not one, but two houses to clean. Can you imagine how storm victims in Joplin, Missouri, or across Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi or Alabama would feel today if they could just plug in their vacuum?
Take one moment from your day and look at this image.
The juxtaposition of those photos rocked me to my core.
I have a special place in my heart for Joplin, Missouri. You could get amazing food at Chicken Mary’s. And there was a Sonic Drive In that holds a special memory for my husband Greg and me from our early dating years when I was at Cottey College in Nevada, MO., and he at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, KS. Joplin was the nearest “big city.” Greg took 13 Cottey Girls to see Tootsie there in 1982.
Now, the majority of Joplin is gone.
But the… Click here for the rest of the post

Who Raised The Obnoxious Crowd?

Posted by Mimi Meredith at Saturday, May 14th, 2011 10:48 pm

In a moment of silence reserved for honoring the flag and the military personnel in the color guard, it starts.

Some member of the crowd gathered in the Thomas & Mack Arena for the UNLV Graduating Class of 2011 can’t resist this opportunity to make himself heard.

“Riccckkky! You know I’m here!!”

Then, like a spark on dry leaves, it takes off. Directly behind us, Erica’s fan club was just warming up. In spite of the fact that we were on the upper deck of an arena that can hold more than 18,000 spectators, and the acoustical evidence that there is little chance they will be heard by their target graduate seated on the floor, Erica’s row of family and friends counts to three and then roars in unison, “Er-i-cahhhh!”

We’re a tall family, so most of the sound ends at the roots of our hair. They  proceed to drill Erica’s name into our scalps three more times throughout the ceremony. Most important, the moment of silence designed to honor those who serve–including graduates’ parents whose military assignments protecting us… Click here for the rest of the post

Can we save us?

Posted by Mimi Meredith at Monday, April 11th, 2011 6:59 pm

When I find myself tearing up over the Monday morning newspaper, I am not sure which direction the week is headed.

I’m going to hope for up.

The winning essay of the Dear Aliens Essay Contest is way, way up by now.

It was written by seventh grader Benjamin Lee, read by Stephen Hawking (a surprise guest at the essay contest—how cool is that!) and beamed up to the moon by Ned Stearns, an amateur radio operator with a tower in his backyard in Scottsdale (which made me wonder why the HOA worries about my neighbor’s flagpole, but that’s another story.) Radio operators all over the world heard Hawking’s read Lee’s message.
Dear Aliens, Please help us save our world. Not from you, from ourselves. We are destroying our planet and need help from more technologically advanced beings. Our planet is polluted, many nations are at war, there is civil unrest, and our economy is in turmoil.”
A seventh grader captured the essence of our problems. And then they were beamed to anyone who is listening anywhere. Talk about airing… Click here for the rest of the post