Do you recall those long-ago days when the word "civility" was understood in society? The meaning of the word, according to our friend, Mr. Webster, is politeness, courtesy.
When we were kids, our moms constantly reminded us to treat others as we would want to be treated - with politeness and courtesy.
Unfortunately, both the word and it's meaning seem to be lost in today's world. In fact, there are areas of human interaction where courtesy and politeness are rare indeed. Perhaps the best examples of the decline are taking place in the halls of government.
To put it bluntly, if what we hear and see demonstrated day after day in the media is accurate, simple civility is no longer practiced in Washington, D.C.
Instead, the leaders in congress, those elected officials who have been placed in their positions of power by their constituents back home, have taken their lofty places with hearts and minds full of attitude and partisan political determination.
Like willful little boys protecting their corner of the sand box, these entrenched children are holding the entire country hostage to their one-sided interpretation of what this country needs.
When our founding fathers established the most amazing democracy the world has known, there was strong disagreement at every step in the process. But, each of these dedicated patriots brought to the discussions a lifetime of wisdom as well as a willingness to listen to the opinions of others.
Any study of that pivotal time in our history reveals the hard fought battles which took place from the start of the first conversations to the final signing of the U.S. Constitution.
Yet, unlike the often intolerant and demanding political exchanges in Washington today, those who drew up the unique document on which our country was founded were willing to compromise, to weigh other opinions, to find the best solution to each and every stumbling block.
Instead, today's senators and representatives, as well as the members of the Executive branch of the government, are deeply entrenched in their conviction that their way is the only acceptable route to mending what's broken in our country.
The inflexibility of each party has brought our government to a virtual standstill.
I certainly don't claim to be a scholar on the subject of Washington politics, but even a casual observer would be hard pressed to recall a time when that seat of government was as ineffectual as it is today.
Compromise, diplomacy, negotiation - all have gone by the wayside. Today, those in power are dedicating themselves to a political strategy demonizing their opponents while obstructing any forward movement. Anyone who strays across the aisle with hand outstretched in cooperation is labeled a traitor by the hard line politicians, protecting their turf.
I think it's time to bring in the big guns. Let's have the moms of the congressional big wigs call their little boys and girls aside and give them the kind of talking to they would have gotten years ago if they had pulled such tactics.
I can just hear the disgusted mothers telling their youngsters, "If you kids can't play well together, we're taking you home."
And John Boehner's mom would add, "Now, Johnny, you were taught better than that. It's time to stop this foolishness and get along. Apologize to the other children and start sharing."