Going to Civilizania
 2008, by Ginger Carlson (with input from Sir Zeal, a frequenter of Civilizania)

There’s a place I go to sometimes when I just don’t feel like everything feels so good.
This crazy world, I hear the grownups say.
But I know a special place where things don’t have to be so crazy.
I call it Civilizania. And you can go there too.

Noone is ever just born in Civilizania, they have to go there…on a journey. Papa calls it a Seeking Journey, the kind of journey you take when there’s something you need to change about the world.
Mama says, there’s always something worth changin’.

Civilizania has another name. Some people called it Trouble Island. What I’ve noticed about grownups is that they sometimes only see the bad things that could happen. And it is true, if you keep your eyes open in Civilizania, you might not like what you see.

You might see some of the fire-breathing dragons in Civilizania. Fire-breathing dragons are always mean when they are hunting. And they are always hunting. But like Mama says, there’s always something worth changin’, so I figure this is my chance to be a part of that change.
Luckily, dragons aren’t the only thing in Civilizania.

When you go to Civilizania, look for your friends because they are there too. You may not know them yet, but keep looking and you will meet them. This is the thing about friends: they’re everywhere. Mama thinks we spend too much time being afraid of people. Sometimes I’m shy, but everyday I know she’s gonna ask me who did you meet today? And now I usually have an answer. And with a little bit of work, even some of the dragons can become your friends.

And with your friends, you can do amazing things.

When you go to Civilizania, listen.
If you are quiet long enough, you can hear the sound of the drums beating together inside of you and your friends. If you are really quiet, you can hear the sound of the trees and the flowers. Listen long to them because they have seen more than you.

When you go to Civilizania, use your voice.
The dragons are most afraid of your voice. If you and your friends use your voices together, you will be stronger.

When you go to Civilizania , you need to be careful, but not too careful. When you’re too careful you might miss out on the great stuff that can happen, like finding a bug under a rock or seeing the sunset from the top of a very tall mountain. If you’re too careful you might miss that feeling you get when you hold hands with your friends to sing the new song you just learned.

When you go to Civilizania, ask lots of questions. Don’t always believe what the dragons tell you. I heard somewhere that if you always just believe what you are told that you will never find out for yourself what truth is. Papa says, the truth is always different for every person, so you really gotta search.

When you go to Civilizania, it’s a really good idea to go by foot. When you do, you need to walk tall and take big steps. That’s the thing about walking. If we walk together the road is always easier and then it doesn’t seem so long.
But don’t think you’re the only one to have ever walked that road. If you look closely you can see the footprints of the people who have come before you.

When you get to Civilizania, you might realize that you didn’t pack your bags. You think you might not be ready for the journey, but then you’re there for a while and you travel a bit, and you notice that you already have everything you need.

So the next time the grownups shake their heads and say this crazy world, know there’s a place where things don’t have to be so crazy.

It’s called Civilizania and sometimes it seems like Trouble Island. But if we keep our eyes open, use our voices, and listen, together we can make it better.

And we may decide to stay.