Thinking Civility on Thanksgiving

We all have Thanksgiving traditions we have accumulated over the years with our family and friends. Somewhere in the mix, there is generally an appreciation for what is good in our lives – whether we express it overtly or not.

Here at the Institute, we always encourage folks to be involved in civic process and to build relationships with their elected officials. We encourage folks to become a resource and a source of support to our public servants. While many of us appreciate our form of government and the freedoms we enjoy, we don’t often say “thank you” to the many people who help make it all possible.

This Thanksgiving, we would like to express our thanks to the countless public servants at every level of government who help make this country what it is. Many hold positions that are strictly volunteer — on city councils or committees, neighborhood associations or school boards. Many hold positions that are difficult and contentious. Many sacrifice time with their family and friends in order to contribute to the greater good. And some put their lives on the line every day so that the rest of us don’t have to.

Next time you reach out to an elected official, civil servant, community volunteer, or member of our military – for whatever reason – start with a “thank you” for the work they are doing.  Whether you agree with them or not, without citizens who are willing to be involved – in ways large and small – this country would not be what it is today.

— Tomas Spath and Cassandra Dahnke, Institute co-founders

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