Good Day. 

I take no pleasure in having to write down these thoughts.  With all the savoir faire of a second grader (or maybe the mean girl instincts of an 8th grade girl), Donald Trump has lowered his basement-level bar further than anyone thought possible, bad-mouthing and ill-willing the just-deceased patriot, Senator John McCain.

Since some of you may think that at long  last, you elected a president "who tells it like it is," or isn't beholden to anyone else, let me gently suggest that the ruffian in the Oval Office is the worst kind of role model.  He is rude, disrespectful, and profane, and influences others to be the same.  T shirts with Swastikas, the C word, horrible wishes about Hillary Clinton, and negative slogans about minority groups are now de rigueur at pro-Trump rallies.  Not only does Trump lie, his spokespeople do.  Many of his closest advisors have now confessed under oath that they previously lied under oath.  They are the early felons of this administration, with many more to come.

I am here to remind all of us that truth and kindness are essential to a community, even one as large as the United States.   Have you noticed that tempers are shorter, people are angrier, unhappier, more on edge?  Americans who cannot communicate any more with one another use their guns to make a point instead of words.  Where are the values we grew up with?  Americans were supposed to take care of one another.   Even if you didn't like your neighbor, there was a fundamental level of respect that was understood.... once upon a time.

Over the weekend, investor Warren Buffet posted a list of guidelines he called "Here's What's Cool".

1 saying ‘thank you’
2 apologizing when wrong
3 showing up on time
4 being nice to strangers
5 listening without interrupting
6 admitting you were wrong
7 following your dreams
8 being a mentor
9 learning and using people’s names
10 holding doors open

They are all more than "cool".  THESE ARE BASIC NICETIES -- not stuffy, not to meant to be a lot of work.  Just ways to behave that make other people feel special, better, and respected.

Here are some more: 

Don't be a sore loser.  Don't be a sore winner.  A contest that was won fairly [I won't go there now] is its own outcome.  No one needs to sulk or lie or make their rival feel bad.  If you can't win or lose nicely you shouldn't be competing with others.

When an adversary dies, accord him the grace and dues he or she has earned.  Vendettas are a manifestation of insecurity and ugliness. 

When someone is trying to do his or her job and needs help, why not offer to help them if you can?  If a reporter asks a clear question, there is no need to belittle him or her in a news briefing.  If you have only contempt for your constituency, you should find a new one that you can respect.  If you cannot cooperate with others, find a job that you can do by yourself.

Please don't hide under a cloak of spirituality when you do unGodly things.  The public doesn't need to know you go to church or volunteer at your kids' Sunday school when you lie or commit adultery or cheat on your taxes.  If I'm not mistaken, we seem to elect people to positions of power who abuse their power.  Did you blame your wife for your dipping into your campaign funds?  Really?  And now you're going to pray about it?

We know that people are who they are.  Sexuality and gender are not choices; they are intrinsic parts of our identities.  So judging people according to them isn't fair, kind, or smart. You don't want to be judged for your hair or skin color or partner, so why do that to anyone else?  This behavior doesn't serve anyone in a positive way.

We need to affirm one another and be helpful.  We need to be kind and openhearted.  If you are a regular reader of these pages, you probably see things more or less as I do, but if not, welcome. This is not a political blog; this is a common sense blog, usually seasoned with movie, book, and food recommendations.  I like fresh corn, hot baths, the beach, and kindness.  A little goes a long way.

Please send this on if you think you know someone who needs a little nudging.

Thank you,