Campgrounds and RV parks collect a broad spectrum of travelers. We often found ourselves among people with values, beliefs, and habits unlike ours. Many campers carried guns and anti-abortion bumper stickers were common. Dogs and cats are common among the RV set. Satellite dishes sprung up as soon as RV’s were parked and leveled. Every campground seemed to have a recreation center of some sort and there was subtle pressure to attend potlucks, lectures, and other events. Any of these issues presents potential conflict among campers.
Instead of conflict I found campers sought common ground on which to establish a working relationship with fellow campers. After some initial “feeling out” of newcomers, everyone talked about topics that we had in common. Of course camping equipment and experiences were a safe starting topic. With some small groups the introductions revealed other kinships and these were safe topics in that group. However, when someone else joined the group reverted to assured safe topics until the newcomer could be assessed. Gradually the included topics expanded.As a result campgrounds and RV parks proved to be pleasant places and the people were consistently friendly.
There are some valuable lessons there. The way to get along with others is to find common ground rather than debate your differences. I learned to be much more tolerant and enjoyed meeting people and learning about them. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if we all applied this to our everyday lives?
Points very well put Paul, and very well received.