Civility and manners

  • Civility and manners,  Greenfield Village and Henry Ford Musuem,  Politics

    Herd mentality

    “Sheep only need a single flock, but people need two: One to belong to and make them feel comfortable, and another to blame all of society’s problems on.”  ~James Rozoff When I was a kid, my parents often discussed politics and watched talk shows featuring guests with opposing viewpoints. The following day, we’d enjoy rehashing the issues around the dinner table. I learned a lot about what I valued during those discussions. My parents encouraged me to develop my own political opinions — even when my opinions didn’t mirror or echo theirs. More than anything, they wanted me to think for myself, and I’m grateful for that. Today’s quote got…

  • Change and challenge,  Civility and manners,  Personal growth


     “You can learn great things from your mistakes when you aren’t busy denying them.” ~Marc Chernoff, Marc & Angel Hack Life We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t make mistakes. At some point, we’ve all messed things up, made spelling errors, burned the dinner, turned the wrong way, blurted something offensive, and hurt someone’s feelings. Nobody leaves this world flawless and error-free. Problem is, some people will do anything to avoid admitting a mistake, hoping it will miraculously disappear if they pretend it didn’t happen. (Translation: Their self-image is more important than your feelings.) Then there are the folks who always manage to screw up a good apology with an…

  • Civility and manners,  Communication

    Insensitive remarks

    “I have never been hurt by what I have not said.” ~Calvin Coolidge All of us are guilty of blurting insensitive remarks or sharing information we shouldn’t — usually without realizing it. We might say something off the top of our heads without thinking how someone else might interpret it. I can’t forget the time my elderly mother (who had a hearing problem) loudly declared in a restaurant that some people are “too fat.” (At the time, she was trying to lose weight herself.) Of course, a couple of very large people were seated at the table next to us — and I’m sure they heard my mother’s rude proclamation.…

  • Civility and manners,  Friendship and relationship advice,  Politics

    Never assume

    “If we are honest with ourselves, we have to admit that sometimes our assumptions and preconceived notions are wrong, and therefore, our interpretation of events is incorrect. This causes us to overreact, to take things personally, or to judge people unfairly.” ~Elizabeth Thornton, Scottish author of historical fiction Things aren’t always as they seem. As every good magician knows, people interpret everything they see and hear through the filter of their own experience and beliefs. And sometimes they see and hear only what they wish to see and hear. It’s sobering, really, when you consider how easily any situation could be misjudged or misunderstood. It’s never a good idea to…

  • Civility and manners,  Communication,  Kindness quotes

    The clothing of our thoughts

    “Words are the clothing of our thoughts.” ~Jonathan Swift “Watch what you say,” my mother used to scold. Like most little kids, I wasn’t born knowing how to filter my own insensitive remarks. Children are notorious for expressing brutally honest opinions on everything they notice, from bad breath to obesity. It’s our responsibility as adults to teach the gentle arts of tact and diplomacy. These days, sadly, too many grown-ups also think it’s fine to blurt what’s on their minds, even when it’s hurtful. If words are the “clothing of our thoughts,” as today’s quote suggests, why not share a compliment and spare the criticism? Kind words not only lift…