In light of our politicians’ penchant for playing games and printing Monopoly money, I’d like to propose a practical pastime that would profit them, our country, and ourselves. It’s called a Civilized Conversation, and it helps answer the question on which every policy maker, and voter, should be conversant: “What are the factors that cause the rise and/or fall of a civilization?” You can number them on one hand.
Try this at home. It even works with teenagers around a dinner table. Pretend you’re escaping from some disaster: a tsunami, an invading barbarian horde, misguided governmental policies, etc. As you run, you notice others running with you. They’re not hostile, so you eventually pause together for breath at an isolated bend in the river. The water is clean, flashing with fish. Shady fruit trees stand guard on the hill. Gentle breezes beckon you to sleep under the stars. You decide to settle down for the night, month and century. Let the game begin!