Last week, I met with a group of individuals while we planned on the agenda for an annual meeting in an organization I belong to. The topic of discussion for that meeting will be Civil Discourse, with a specific focus on difficult conversations with those whom we disagree.
Since that meeting, the art of respectful and considerate communication has been on my mind. It seems these days, courteous conversations are difficult to come by and humanity is escaping our grasp.
Especially, when there are such divisive perspectives in the world – not just in the political climate – but in life in general. It seems to have become common place to be uncouth, using obscenity to convey a point. In fact, the ill-mannered expressions are becoming admired as “telling it like it is.
I’m always for telling the truth as one perceives it, but we do live in the 21st century where one can expect to participate in a civilized society.
This brings me to the childhood story -“The Three Little Pigs.”
I went to the Public Forum on Affordable Care Act held at the Windham Public Library this past Wednesday. Dr. Jane Pringle of Windham was one member of the panel. She said the other evening she got the opportunity to read “The Three Little Pigs” to her grandchildren.
We all know that the wolf represents life’s true challenges and the third pig shows us that hard work pays off.
Dr. Pringle shared another lesson she learned from the children’s classic regarding pig number three.
|Would you open your door?|
After she put her grandchildren to bed, she said it dawned on her how courteous the third pig was to pigs number one and number two. After failing with the construction of their houses and had no place to live, the third pig welcomed them into his warm, safe and well-built home. He could have easily laughed and scoffed at them, telling them to buzz off. He could have belittled them, reminding them just how “stupid” they were. After all, any smart pig knows that you don’t build a home with straw or sticks. Especially, with big bad wolves in the vicinity that have a destructive nature.
It’s true. He could have easily been grumpy with the two others and no one would have blamed him. But, that third pig? He was a civilized young soul. Although he was a pig, he had a heart filled with humanity.
We are presented with everyday challenges and the less civilized we are with one another, only increases the possibility of daily stress. A touch of compassion in our conversations doesn’t really take that much work and it might even give each of us added strength to ward off the wolves that pounce into our lives unexpectedly.
I don’t know, just a thought here. But of the three little pigs, I will always attempt to do my best to be pig number three.
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