Friday’s Odds and Ends

As we listen to all kinds of people from politicians to celebrities ranting and raving and getting downright down and dirty in public, more and more people are calling for more civility in public discourse. Eight out of ten Americans think that the lack of civility is a serious problem. I am one of those eight.

Columnist Gregory Rodriguez wrote a recent piece about the civility challenge and quoted  Kristen Cambell of the National Council on Citizenship, who said that “Successful civic engagement is all about capturing and harnessing empathy.”

In his book, The Science of Evil, Simon Baron-Cohen, a Cambridge University psychiatrist, refers to empathy as “double-mindedness.” That refers to a person’s ability to take into consideration the feelings of another.  Cruelty and unkindness occurs when people are “single-minded”, too focused on their own feelings and thoughts to be able to connect with someone else or respond to them in a reasonable manner.

I like that idea. I plan to work harder at being double-minded.

Here’s something that could brighten your day.  The Dallas zoo recently named a new baby giraffe “Jamie” in honor of  eight-and-a-half month-old James Sikes who loved giraffes. The boy died in July from a brain tumor, and he had been fascinated with giraffes from the time his parents took him to the zoo when he was two-months old. As he struggled with his illness, he liked to hear songs and stories about giraffes. After he died, a family friend heard about the contest sponsored by the Dallas Zoo to name the new baby giraffe and helped organize a campaign on a social media site to name the giraffe after James. Because the young giraffe is a girl, the family decided to use “Jamie” and that name won by a landslide.

For a writer it is always such a joy to discover a new review for one of their books, and I just found this one for One Small Victory. “Excellent! That is one small word that hardly describes a novel written with such heart.   Maryann Miller is an accomplished writer, weaving her tale of intrigue, romance and determination.  She takes her readers on a wild ride of adventure that will not be soon forgotten.”
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Reviewer:  Elaine Fuhr, Allbooks Reviews Int.

I am participating in the East Texas Book Fest in Tyler tomorrow, where I will have copies of my books available. I love to go to venues like that where I can meet people who love books as much as I do. It is always so much fun to talk to readers, as well as the other authors there. I always come back energized.

4 thoughts on “Friday’s Odds and Ends”

  1. I am also one of the eight. I read once that the first sign of the fall of a civilization is the loss of common courtesy. I think civility would tie in there, too. Both sad and frightening.

  2. Glad to see you are one of the eight, LD. Most of my friends are. I wonder who all those other folks who make up the “two” are. I haven’t ever met anyone who says, “Oh yeah, let’s have more shouting and name calling and rancor.”

  3. Thanks, Carol. I already am. Went to a wonderful reception hosted by the event chair, and got to renew my friendship with Jane Roberts Woods. She’s a delightful lady and a wonderful writer.

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