Archive for the ‘ Civil Behavior ’ Category
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
If we’re going to turn our energies toward understanding and overcoming our innate fascination with clamoring mobs of angry masses fed by talking points, we have to start on the most difficult of all terrain—our inner landscape.
Do you think you are a practitioner of peace? Do you think you can easily sort fact from fiction and give all perspectives an equal sense of consideration? Then tell me this…how’s your family dynamic? How do you handle conflict in your closest relationships?
True understanding is something we must learn to cultivate in the deepest corners of ourselves, where we have nurtured our knee-jerk reaction to conflict—those times you don’t get to step back and think, much less retreat to a mountain top where you can gain a wise and peace-centered perspective.
Our true colors are often shown in the way we respond to the people who we interact with most—our family. If you live with other humans…or even pets…you are probably already aware that they are all safe landing places for the unfiltered versions of yourself and that sometimes, you’re not… Click here for the rest of the post
This is your holiday weekend call to action!
I bet most of you will see other people this weekend. There are picnics to attend, department store sales to shop, boats to launch and other limitless opportunities for engagement and conversation. Here’s your challenge…
In an effort to nurture understanding , we have to move our conversations in that direction. We will have to begin by learning how to change the subject as lately, conversations have a knack for drifting into negative territory of politics, economics and commiseration over despair fairly quickly. Here are some quick tips to use this weekend to become a better subject changer. (And please remember, I know some difficult subjects need to be addressed in order to move our country forward. I’m not suggesting we bury our heads in the sand, just that we start by getting out of the muck so we’re less tempted to sling it at one another.)
Seeds to Growing Better Conversations:
1. Keep Listening. Don’t quit listening just because someone starts a conversation about a contentious subject. Whether you agree with… Click here for the rest of the post