Civility and manners,  Greenfield Village and Henry Ford Musuem,  Politics

Herd mentality

“Sheep only need a single flock, but people need two: One to belong to and make them feel comfortable, and another to blame all of society’s problems on.”  ~James Rozoff

When I was a kid, my parents often discussed politics and watched talk shows featuring guests with opposing viewpoints. They subscribed to (and read) both local and national newspapers. The three of us enjoyed rehashing important issues around the dinner table, giving me an opportunity to learn what I thought and valued during those discussions. I was encouraged to develop my own opinions — even if they didn’t mirror those of my parents. Herd mentality was not encouraged. My folks wanted me to think for myself, and I’ll always be grateful for that.

Today’s quote got me thinking about our country’s current political climate: Us against Them. Growing up, I don’t recall anything as rampantly vicious, rude, and divisive as what’s become our political norm today. And I often wonder how we can change this. Maybe we could start by reviving the practice of civil discussions around our own dining room tables? ~CL

Throughout my career, I've worked as a book production editor, travel magazine editor, features writer, and weekly newspaper columnist. My award-winning lifestyles features and essays have appeared in many national magazines and anthologies, including Newsweek, Reader's Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest, Victoria, Better Homes & Gardens, Bella Grace, and more. My weekly Sunday "Life Lines" column ran for 14 years in The Daily Tribune (Royal Oak, MI) and won a First Place (Local Columns) award from the Michigan Press Association. My essay collection, Writing Home, includes 93 previously published columns and essays focusing on parenthood and family life.

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