The Wisdom of Shel Siverstein

One of my girls’ favourite childhood books was “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. I came across this poem by him that, although most likely written for children, is also a good reminder to everyone as to how to be good citizens:


If we meet and I say, ‘Hi,’
That’s a salutation.
If you ask me how I feel,
That’s consideration.
If we stop and talk a while,
That’s a conversation.
If we understand each other,
That’s communication.
If we argue, scream and fight,
That’s an altercation.
If later we apologize,
That’s reconciliation.
If we help each other home,
That’s cooperation.
And all these actions added up
Make civilization.
(And if I say this is a wonderful poem,
Is that exaggeration?)

– Shel Siverstein

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