How Would You Describe Your Civic Life?

Civic life can vary drastically from person to person, and from town to town. Are you active in your local community?

In our lives, there is some level of civic engagement.Even if you live out in the country, there are some services that are provided by the nearby town that benefit you.

The exact amount varies from person to person. While one person might have children in the public school system, another may check out books from the local library. You might serve on a town committee of some sort, or just organize a block party for your neighbors.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘What makes a place feel like home?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What beliefs do you have that might be wrong?’


There are some civic services that benefit everyone, like local roads we all drive on, or trash and recycling collection that is done on a weekly basis. What other services do you take advantage of?

Some people are simply good members of the town they inhabit. That might mean shopping a locally-owned stores rather than national chains or online outlets. Or it might mean picking up trash at a local park, or helping out a neighbor in some way.

There is also actual engagement in local politics. This runs the gamut from voting in town elections, to serving on select committees or attending forums to discuss issues that impact your neighborhood or city.

There are many ways of being a member in the town or city where you live. Which ones are meaningful or important to you? How would you describe your civic life?

Related questions: What are our responsibilities to others? What role should the government play in our lives? Why do you live where you live? Urban, suburban, or rural?

Shopping: In Person Or Online?

With the click of a mouse, you can shop for something and have it delivered to your door. Or do you prefer to do your shopping in person?

Share why if you wish.

Shopping: In Person Or Online?

Why Are We So Divided?

No matter which metric you use, it seems like there is a yawning gap between people. We are more divided than ever. What is fueling this growing difference?

Short of an escalation into violence, it’s difficult to imagine a more divided population than exists in the United States and the world.

Income inequality means more families are struggling to make ends meet. At the same time, wealth is being concentrated in fewer and fewer hands.

There are more people leaving organized religion with each passing year. Those that remain feel persecuted.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘What beliefs do you have that might be wrong?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What makes a place feel like home?’


But by far, the most intense division is political. Individuals in different political parties can’t even seem to have a civil conversation. Each side believes the other one is destroying the country. As a result, we are self-selecting into opposing neighborhoods, cities, and states. Nuance, complexity, and compromise are forgotten or ignored.

How did we get here? What is the cause of this division? Is it a media that is chasing advertising money? Or political leaders looking to consolidate power and influence? Are the wealthy looking to collect even more money? Are the poor lazy and shiftless? Alternately, are social media outlets — a new technology — spreading misinformation in the interest of attracting viewers?

In your opinion, who is to blame for our current state of disunity? And more importantly, perhaps, how can we reverse that trend and see our commonalities rather than our differences? Why are we so divided?

Related questions: What do we have in common? How can we encourage meaningful conversation? Why do we hate? How do we know we are right?

How Do You Need Help?

No one person is able to do everything that needs to be done. As a result, everyone needs help now and then. Do you know the ways in which you need help?

A surefire way to lead to failure is to try to do everything by yourself. In all likelihood, you will exhaust your own energy, raise your own stress level, and fall short of your various goals.

Successful people are good at involving others in their endeavors. For example, most successful marriages involve two people who are stronger together than each is separately. When one person might be overextended, a second person can help to lighten the load.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘Are we too busy?’ We discuss another question as well, ‘What are our responsibilities to others?’


Similarly, a person might benefit from the help of family and friends in their personal life, and from co-workers or employees in their profession. One person cannot do it all, whether the “it” in question is raising a family, maintaining a household, or running a business.

And yet, asking for help is too often stigmatized in our society. It might be viewed as a sign of weakness, or seen as a lack of commitment. Even if others might not believe that to be true, sometimes an individual may fear that is the way such a request will be taken.

Asking for help when you need it is crucial. But what happens if you don’t realize — or can’t admit — that you need help after all?

Do you know when you need help? How?

Related questions: How can you help? Are we too busy? How do you define success? What makes a good leader?