August: Civility 

My mind has been focused quite a bit in recent months on the subject of civility in public discourse. More specifically, it’s been focused on the lack of civility and the harsh attacks that seem to have become the “new normal” for how we as a society communicate with each other on issues of importance.  Whether it’s the President and his infamous Tweets, partisan politics on the floor of our own State Legislature, or even local discussions about strictly local issues, we seem to have forgotten the principles of common courtesy and respect espoused my many of our parents, grandparents and teachers as they tried to raise us to be good citizens.  I can remember The Golden Rule and its message about treating others the way you want to be treated as being a cornerstone of my childhood.


Fast forward in time and we find ourselves in a world where it’s okay to yell, scream, and bash someone for having a different idea, opinion, or point of view.  Rather than a rational discussion of differences and respect for the views of others (even when we may vehemently disagree) we turn to name calling and attacking the person rather than the idea.  That should never be acceptable in a Democratic society.


I have been in public service for over 22 years, working in local government for all of that time.  I entered public service because I wanted, somehow, to try and make a community a better place for the people living there. I wanted the reward of working with citizens and elected officials to make their respective communities shine. From a purely selfish standpoint, I wanted to be part of molding a community into an incredible place to live for myself and my family.  Interestingly enough, during that 22-year span, I’ve worked with literally thousands of citizens, public employees, and elected officials and have consistently found the vast majority of them have all wanted the same outcome. . . a great community to live, work, play, and raise their own families in.  Very few – and by “very few” I mean an almost infinitesimally small number – have been malicious or had an agenda that was genuinely designed to harm a community or its residents.  They have all been friends and neighbors; good people who may have different ideas on how to bring success to a community but were all united in their genuine desire to make their town a better place.


We need to remember that. We need to remember that we are all good people, with our own families, friends, and neighbors, who all have our own ideas about Fountain and how to be successful here.  Let’s rise above the acrimony and spend time having good, honest, heartfelt discussions – and even debates – about what makes Fountain tick and what could make it tick better.  Sure, we can feel strongly about our views, ideas, and opinions, but let’s not forget that we all share common ground in our love for Fountain and how much we want it to shine!  Thomas Jefferson once said, “I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.”  If it was good enough for TJ, it should be good enough for us and, after all, Fountain deserves it.

Posted by On August 06, 2018 at 11:12 AM