Civility Note:
7 May 2019

ΒΆ From a post by Laura Lippman about becoming a (n adoptive) mother at the age of fifty:

But in the years since my daughter was born, I have discovered that people who ask rude questions feel terribly affronted if you say anything that implies they have just asked a rude question.

If there is a maxim that I would banish from our stock of hare-brained pleasantries, it’s “the thought that counts.” The thought not only doesn’t count but is all too often carelessly insulting: it’s value is actually negative. If you mean to mean well, content yourself with offering to do anything helpful that might be in your powers. Do not offer specific services or recommendations. Unless, of course, you think that the person who might need them is a basket case without the sense to come in out of the rain. In which case, it’s wise to be prepared for a frosty glare.  

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