The Washington Times - April 12, 2009, 09:39AM

Have you noticed that in general people are on edge, fearful and anxious?  There is a lot to be fearful about ranging from the economy, terrorism and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. On April 1, I posted an item entitled “Troubled Times, But Not Troubled Thoughts“.  In this post I suggested that many of that we may allow our fear and anxiety to spillover into our daily interactions in the form of rudeness and even hostility.

On a recent venture to downtown Washington, DC, I was once again amazed about how rude, and on edge people are. I have posted on this subject several times. The most recent post was on September 18, 2007, entitled,  “Let’s join the polite patrol“, where I noted how I allowed the rudeness of others on the subways and rush hour streets of DC to alter my normal civil comportment.

I firmly believe that something needs to be done to bring a more civil standard of behavior back to our communities. I miss being able to make eye contact with a fellow commuter without it be considered threatening, or a simple “Excuse Me,” when someone steps on my shoe on the subway. Hey! How about saying “Good Morning to a stranger and having it acknowledged.

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Maybe President Obama could appoint a Secretary of Civility.  Since that is not likely, I have a proposal, Let’s declare May 14, “Polite Day”. On this day, I want you to pick five strangers and engage them with a simple polite or kind word. Let’s try to target some of the more rude or insular folks we encounter in our neighborhoods, at work or commuting.

You know, I think this is a good project for an online community. So I am going to ask the Washington Times online community to help promote and participate in Polite Day. I am also going to post this on Twitter and see if there are any takers. What do you think? Is this ambitious? So lets Let’s begin a dialogues about having a day sometime in the near future declared ‘Polite Day, where we resurrect the civil, kind and loving nature that is in all of us. Any suggestions?

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