Whether intended or unintended, when a child steps out of line, corrective measures should be undertaken. When a politician, leader or citizen lies, cheats, commits fraud and sexual indiscretions, there should be moral outrage.

We respect each other and our environment. I have never seen furniture and refrigerators discarded on the roadside in Thomaston. We just don’t do that. Dumping toxic fluids and motor oil behind your house, as well as burning trash, is not done. And if you see someone (especially a child) being abused, I am sure you would courageously to defend them.

I so appreciate how clean and esthetically pleasing we have it.

According to Wikipedia: “Civic virtue is morality or a standard of righteous behavior in relationship to a citizen's involvement in society. An individual may exhibit civic virtue by voting, volunteering, organizing a book group, or attending a PTA meeting… Civic virtue is the dedication of one to the common welfare through selfless actions even at the cost of one's interests. This concept is closely related to the selfless behavior with which one approaches society.

The best example of how we practice civic virtue today is by participating in charity events to benefit our community.”

I might add that civic virtue may simply be a warm greeting, coming to the aid of neighbors in their hour of need, being patient, forgiving and mentoring our youth. When I was a child, each evening, it was my duty to take plates of food to two poor widows and bring back the plates from the day before. I witnessed someone bringing in a neighbor’s clothes (just before an unexpected rainfall) that had been put out on a clothesline to dry and they regularly returned stray animals to their rightful owners.

I recently encountered this act of honesty and kindness. Last Tuesday, (9/2I/21), we completed our round of golf at Raintree, and I placed my golf bag beside my automobile while I changed my shoes. Just then, Dannie Smith came up to discuss our next golf date. I then closed the trunk and drove away, leaving my golf clubs in the parking lot and not missing them until the next day. So, I called Raintree and sure enough, someone rescued them for me and I gleefully (and I mean GLEEFULLY) retrieved them. And it wasn’t the first time.

Some years ago, I placed my watch in the same side pocket with my viewfinder. In one of my trips to my pocket, I also pulled out my watch. I searched high and low but didn’t find it. However, the following day, another golfer found it and turned it in. Do we not live in an amazing place with amazing people? Things like this heighten my excitement for living here. I definitely dropped anchor.

Having lived in big cities most of my life, when I first moved to Thomaston 10 years ago, I had to learn several lessons. I was pulled over by a kind officer of the law because I wasn’t showing respect for the funeral procession on the other side of Route 19 (a four-lane road). When I called someone’s office and a receptionist answered, it was my habit to immediately ask to speak to the person I was calling, and she would kindly say: “And good morning to you too.” In a restaurant, I learned to greet the waitress before placing my order.

When we opened our Thomaston office, I was canvassing the neighborhood to let them know we were open for business. I rang the doorbell of a house and the lady of the house just shouted: “Come on in.” I never heard that invitation before, so I opened the door and on seeing me asked: “And who are you?” When I explained who I was, she invited me to join her and her husband by the pool and offered me sweet tea and welcomed me to Thomaston. We talked for the next two hours.

I believe this is called “Southern Hospitality” and I have grown to love it. Even though I still get a little frustrated when drivers wait until the roadway is “all clear” before pulling out, it says we value safety, courtesy and respect each other.

Maybe a better definition of civic virtue is my Grandmother’s favorite quotes from the Bible. “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interest of others. (Philippians 2(4) “For none of us live to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone.” (Romans 14(7) “We shall all stand before the judgment seat of God. So, for what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?” (Mathew 16:26)

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