“Thoughtlessness is the new manners, and I’ve got to say I don’t like it… Somehow, so many little pieces of courtesy have gone by the wayside. People in your face, in your business, not caring if they are being disrespectfully loud…
So over the last year there were days when I remembered to write things down that struck me. Many are written here. They cover the map of my mind, unleashed on you the way they appear in my head.
Little things, the way I can comment on them in a book but not on TV. In no particular order—oh, and I don’t necessarily have any answers guaranteed to work for anyone.
-- Excerpted from The Foreword (pgs. xiii-xiv)
All over the country nowadays, we’re witnessing a frightening decline in civility, whether it’s teens being bullied to the point of suicide, tourists being subjected to searches at airports that look more like foreplay than pat downs, or simply people talking loudly on cell phones in places where it’s rude or illegal to do so. In the political realm, we’ve heard mudslinging candidates refer to opponents as a “witch,” “whore” or “degenerate idiot,” a Republican interrupt the President’s State of the Union speech to call him a liar, and even a fellow Democrat tell Obama to “shove it.”