Civil War ?

As a former teacher of U. S. History, it is chilling for me to see people mentioning civil war these days, describing the conditions in our country. Sadly, there is a lot of truth to it. But have you ever thought of what an oxymoron that statement is?

The definitions of civil are "of or relating to ordinary citizens and their concerns" and "courteous and polite." The word comes from the Latin words civilis/civis which means citizen. Other definitions include relating to the civic order befitting a citizen as well as suggesting a minimum of observance of social requirements implying positive, dignified, sincere, thoughtful consideration for others. Of course war needs no defining.

How in the world did these two words get put together to describe the brutal war that divided our nation brother against brother with 1.5 million casualties and widespread devastation of land and people so brutal that some adult men still cry about it. Where is the civility? Where is the order? Where is the dignified consideration?

And as one of my favorite U. S. History students shrieked ecstatically one year "History does repeat itself." So beware my friends, because we may be headed into a not so civil Civil War that could so easily be avoided with "a minimum of observance of social requirements implying positive, dignified, sincere, thoughtful consideration for others!" How did we get so divided again and so lost?

If you have a choice between being kind or being right, be kind because it is always right.


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