I once went with a friend to Florida to visit a 105 year-old relative of theirs, Jennie. Well, Jennie and I immediately hit it off, but while talking with her, I realized that, in all the time I had spent with my own grandmother, I had never really asked her any questions (she lived to just 3 months shy of 105).
As a kind of penance for this, I decided that I should ask Jennie something I could have asked my own grandmother, but didn't. After some quick pondering, I clumsily asked, "Jennie, what is the biggest change you've seen in your lifetime?"
This sharp-as-a-tack woman with a beautiful face didn't skip a beat in responding to me, "People don't treat each other with respect."
In one simple sentence that little sagacious woman had pinpointed the apex of the pyramid of 20th century dysfunction. It doesn't really matter if one is discussing fashion, politics, education, taxicabs, retail, employment, religion… or any other subject… Jennie had singlehandedly identified, to me at least, the behavioral cancer which has had the broadest effect on life as we know it over the past century.
Monday, January 18, 2010
You know what, with this whole project, I have mad passion but I’m powerless as one person. And today, in honor of Martin Luther King Day, I want to say a word of thank you to my band of volunteers for supporting me behind the scenes. I haven’t actually met any of them in person (and there is something magical about that, don’t you think?) but I’ve gotten to know some of them pretty well over email. Curtis who is not only an established attorney but also a talented gardener told me a story over email the other day, that he said it’d be alright to share here: