My children are still young, and with that youth comes a lack of understanding about how to act. There are many things we do in our culture, which seem to be a curious thing, but each thing we do not only has a history, but a purpose. This poem was a way for me to explain to my children the need for civility among our society of peoples.
By Matthew Mansfield
Good day, kind sir, how do you do today?
Well and good. Thank you. Have a good day.
Exchanging kind words with a nod a smile
Is this all I need to go the extra mile?
No, there is more to being kind to others
Ye must love thyself as thy sisters and brothers
These things seem simple
With a cute smile and a dimple
What of the one in the crowd that finds an offense?
What does the wrong doer say in defense?
Should the victim accept a hurtful thing?
Would not this peace to all parties bring?
In most cases to that a yes would be correct
but in some things reactions one must redirect
So if not returning with a smile and a nod
What manner of justice upon the one acting odd?
Most offenses are easy, they require no fix
Tis the thinking of both that started the mix
Turn a cheek, or two, maybe even three or four
Perhaps when you do wrong they’ll turn even more
Sound judgment this seems, one wrongs, no worry, resolve it
But what of offenses too great to dissolve it?
Aw yes, thee exceptions; as there must always be
For these there are systems, even courts, and a fee
Almost always if both are sound in thought
The thing of the matter is solved more often than not
I had a son that four years today
Had his life taken in a most tragic way
What thoughts should I have of him that crept in and took it
of my grief to a shelf set, or a fishing line hook it?
In a body of persons regulations to make
So that nobody inside should ever break
I gave ten rules that should never be broken
If each are followed then no grief should be spoken
When one should step outside laws set forth
The body has reason to be set off course
The way of the body must never be changed
To me it leads, not to be rearranged
Cast out the wrong doers, send them back to me
Then will I judge those with exceptions that be
As for the body of people keep the protection of laws
The consequence justice, but civility the cause