Cause and Civility
Cause and Civility: In Search of Respect and Reason It is one thing to look at an issue or event and only see what it means for our lives today. It is quite another to analyze those same issues and events, and their potentially lasting impact on our lives, the lives of our children, our grandchildren tomorrow and beyond. We are all too often consumed with “living in the moment” where a short attention span and instant gratification rules the day.
While there is value in looking at events from today’s perspective, the more we observe, the more we realize that broad, sweeping and lasting changes and conditions develop over time. The seeds are often planted long before we see the nature and kind of fruit – good or bad –
that define the harvest.
Dealing with the conditions, circumstances and issues around us is much like raising children. What they ultimately become is a result of the kind of treatment they encounter and receive over time.
History is replete with men and women who took the longer view and worked for lasting change. Mother Theresa knew that she could not rid Calcutta of the ravages of the extreme conditions of poverty on its most vulnerable citizens in a week, a few months or several years. She spent a sacrificial lifetime trying to break its interminable grip.
When the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. took up the fight to rid this country of racial discrimination, he knew he was not dealing with a condition that occurred in a short time period. He also knew that real change did not nor would not happen overnight.
The more they saw and heard, the more they could not turn a blind eye or a deaf ear. They knew the meaning of the “Times” of their lives – as we must become acutely aware of the “Times” of our own.
Many of us are and can continue to be Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King, Jr., in lesser or greater degrees.
Dr. Janice S. Ellis, PhD has been writing for over 30 years in an attempt to inform, inspire, and promote positive changes to improve educational, political, racial and socio-economic conditions. Cause and Civility is a compilation of those writings.