Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 10/01/18

We look back, somewhat embarrassed at our pasts: haircuts, fashions, entertainment, behaviors. We ask ourselves, “What were we thinking?” Disco? Folk songs? Tail fins on cars? Peace signs? Pinky rings?

But we look back from the present as though it’s a superior vantage point because now we’re all so “smart” and so “sophisticated.” We are rarely syncretic, trying to reconcile what is best then and now, what we don’t mind losing and what losses we should mourn.

Fifty years from now, through the prism of a new generation with new values and even more “sophistication,” there may well be embarrassment over people covered with tattoos and piercings, song lyrics that degrade women and glamorize crime, vulgarity as an almost daily experience, media trying to play “gotcha” instead of reporting the news, and an anti-intellectual stubbornness in refusing to listen to others’ views.

Instead of saying, “How could we have done that and looked like that?” today, perhaps we should be saying, “What have we lost, and whatever happened to….?”

These days, my first question is: “What ever happened to decency?”


When we create hope and opportunity in the lives of others, we allow love, decency, and promise to triumph over cowardice and hate.

—Kirsten Gillebrand

It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office. —H.L. Mencken

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