You know what I think would do our country a world of good? A return of decency, a return of good manners.

Decency and manners used to be valued things, now they’re seen as weak. Good, old-fashioned politeness has become a dinosaur, and we’d be so much better off if we could dig it up and put some skin and muscles on those bones again.

By decency, I don’t mean being a prude, never uttering an expletive, things like that. I mean the common decency of treating others as at least as important as yourself. The idea of, “the world is a tough place; let’s you and I not stomp on each other and try to get through this together.”

But we’re stuck with the attitude that if I do something nice for you, that somehow wounds me, costs me something, and I have to get something back in return; and that if I’m not putting myself first, I’m weak. And when we do something horrible, we excuse it with, “Because F you, that’s why!” Apologies, if they happen, are watered down: “I apologize IF you’re offended. (But I withhold that apology from everyone else because I’m not a weakling!).”

A genuine apology is more like, “I screwed up. I’m sorry. What I did was rude and insensitive, and I’m going to do better.” No conditions, no escape clauses. A real apology is acknowledging you did something wrong even if nobody else was offended.

I think the lack of manners, the death of social graces, are signs of a society in steep decline, maybe a terminal one.

What the world needs now is not so much “love, sweet love” (though that would be a great thing), but some manners and a little goodness for goodness’ sake.