Monday, May 6, 2013

The art of Civil Discourse

As my wife and I watched the republican state convention today my mind kept drifting back to Thursday night when we attended the Oliver Gospel Mission 125th Anniversary Gala and was able to hear Dr. Ben Carson. First of all I would like to state that he has an amazing story and an awesome message but what stuck out most for me was how he started. The first thing that he stated was, " I am going warn you that I do not believe in being P.C. , this idea of anyone that has a different opinion has to shut up is going to kill this country. If I have three people with all the same view point I don't need two of them. Instead of P.C. Political correctness,  We need some C.D. Civil Discourse, people only resort to name calling and yelling when there argument breaks down" and I may add that it becomes pointless to resort to such behavior because people stop listening to you. So. In an age where "civil anything"has become a lost art let me outline some principles I "try " to follow, in fact the"try to" is the reason for
#1 no one is perfect not even you. With that being said you can't have any civil discourse with out a quest for knowledge to try to improve yourself as the main goal
#2 understand that everyone is your superior in some way, so you can learn from any one
#3 seek first to understand before you seek to be understood
#4 avoid the argument, because no one ever wins an argument, in fact, welcome the disagreement as a chance to learn
#5 don't be so defensive take time to calm your temper remember they are not your enemy but your mission field
#6 look for common ground, by starting at the same place they will be more apt to see things from your point of view and it helps you to begin in a friendly way
#7 thank them for their interest, if they are taking the time to disagree with you they are interested in the same subject matter you are, and understand they are trying to help you to see things from their point of view, which will strengthen you view by helping you to improve it or by solidifying why you believe in your own
#8. Never tell people they are wrong, ether by look or by words. If you offend someone you can no longer influence them. Instead start with " I maybe wrong, because I am a lot, lets look at the facts" or I know how you feel, I felt the same way, and what I found is......
#9 If you are wrong admit it and thank them for their help in the correction.
#10 ask questions that you know will get a yes response (see #6) then lead them through questions that they will say yes to as you walk them down your path of thought.
#11 let them do most of the talking many times people just need to here themselves speak there view point out loud to realize that they are illogical
#12 let them arrive at their own conclusion. Put them on third base with a big lead, they will cross home plate on their own, then tell them that they had a great idea.
#13 try to honestly see things from their point of view and be sympathetic with the other persons ideas and desires
#14 appeal to the "better"motives while making your case and dramatize your points and ideas through story's in order to make it vivid and interesting.
#15 challenge them to look it up for themselves and not to take your word for it
#16 let them save face once again (see#1)
This was not meant to be an exclusive list or a you must comply with this or else type list. It is just some principles that may help encourage more voices instead of less, and make others less afraid of expressing their point of view.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

An American Story

1999 St. Charles Football team induction to  the Saginaw Co. Hall of Fame

This story  is a story that has to start with the 1998 football team were we  had so many players and so much talent that two way starting players (as were the most of us) for the 1999 team has to move down the J.V. in order to get any playing time. drinking was ramped , attitudes where horrible, it was said that parents were bribing kids to play, and it showed, we were a 3and 6 on the year. with our biggest win of the year being caped off by players breaking into school grounds and vandalizing practice equipment. the worst part of it all is the student body didn't even care how we did, now the parents on the other hand had different Ideas. they were debating on whether running the coaching staff out on a rail or possibly burning them at the stake.(because they must have been the cause of it all,the athletes or the parents couldn't be held responsible )The rest of the town had taken it as normal or  par for St.C football at the time (how could you expect anything different?) 
   Then it started, I don't know who was the first, but the first that I heard it mention was  by Jason Dinniger, It was after  watching  Chesaning win there state championship, Jason mention that next year we are gong to be down there. I just said ya sure. but I was thinking you don't have a clue about the level of discipline that those other teams have. I just shook my head an walked , but we did  have a core group of guys ( which turned out the Marjory of the team) that were working out pretty religiously and my mid summer I had bought into it.   Then we started to talk about going undefeated and winning a state championship, and to our dismay, no one believed us. We got answers like not with that coaching staff, not with your line, not with your defence, and the most devastating blow was the fact that we only had 14 to 19 guys sign up, there is no way we could even finish as good as we did last year, we would have to play Iron Man football,  offence, defence, kick off,  kick return, and punt we are going to be wore down by the 1half.  Instead of buying into it we used it as motivation to work harder than ever before we had no fun at camp and we worked our guts out (some times literally)
By the time our first game came around we were jacked we looked in the stands to see our parents, a few faithful fans, and Grandma,  that was it, I guess it took them a  little wile to catch on that we were serous about this thing, but as soon as they did  watch out, and the rest was history.
     the thing about our story isn't that its rare but it is common.  you see our story isn't just a football story, a St.Charles story, a Saginaw Co. Story , or even a Michigan Story, But its an American story. you see it wasn't the Aristocracy in Europe that were getting on leaky boats, selling themselves into indentured servitude to chase after a dream.  It was the down trodden, the tired masses ,the ones that were told that they were  going to amount to nothing, those were the ones who where walking away from bread lines to go and starve in the wilderness of north America. Its the under dog story, its the belief that no matter what the odds are we can win with out any special deals or handicaps. Its the story that's played out ever day, every time a single mom fights to give her kids a moral foundation, an education, and an opportunity that she missed out on,  it happens every  time a two people keep together a marriage when every one around them said they should quit,  Its what happens when some one breaks generations of additions by kicking the habit to the curb, when you chose to live with the time you have even though you have been told the time you have isn't long, its the story of a man that fights off financial ruin, The business owner that wins after there 3rd or 4th time, its the couple that, after miscarriage, and miscarriage , and every ones said to quit maybe god never meant for you to be parents,  you  and god find a way to make it happen. No this is our story, which is an American story, and the reason why I think it should be added to the collection of great athletic story's is because it needs to be told , remembered and passed down, not for our glory but for future Hope, because if enough of  our story's are erased, changed or destorted,  there will be a time when people will stop believing  that the American story's is possible and if that happens we will cease to be Americans.
So do I believe we deserve  it? Na I think They Do!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

what will we be known For

The united States of America in one Sense Could Be Called the Pinnacle of western civilization, the Government of Cicero 's Dream, the Epicenter of Science, the first to the moon, Technology at the Speed of thought, Wealth Beyond Anything the world has ever Seen Before, or will we Be judged By the statement that reads "to whom Much A given Much expected. "As we Stand hear watching the Death of all that created this Dream Called American most of our population can Be Seen as one Artist projects in this underwater sculpture. I can almost hear Patrick Henry Screaming from Beyond the Grave "why Stand ye here Idle" when all that we Gave To You Dies on your watch! What will you be known for.? How Do You Spend. Your Life Because as Benjamin Franklin. Said "If thou Loves life then thou wouldn't waist time Because that is the Stuff Life is Made out of. " What we Do in the time we are Given will Define who-we are. It is time to Start Living intentionally for Excellence and reclaim our right to govern our self. By Taking Back Our Personal responsibilities that we have been told, we are to Dumb , Lazy and Ignorant to do for ourselves A responsible Population needs no Big Government, Because they govern themselves, No Central planning Because they plan themselves. But an irresponsible Population that seeks Security over responsibly will sell themselfs into slavery one responsibility at a time. Every time you blame some one else you are one step closer to bondage, because if some one else is the reason for anything in your life wether it be education, income, or even your additude, then some one elese is in control of it. If you are depending on some one else then by definition you are that thing or persons ,dependent that is bonded    To that thing or person. Like the most secure people in the world those that stay in the Maximum security Prison. Remember the way you are Living is what you are Dying for.