For as long as I can remember, I have been passionate about the way that ideas and storytelling can transform people’s lives.
I have searched the world for these stories—from Peruvian Amazon Rainforest, to the war-torn Golan Heights in Syria, to the halls of power in the United State’s government. The purpose: to rediscover the centrality of respect for human dignity and personhood in life’s every day intersections. I call this respect “civility.”
That is why I am writing a book about civility—a necessary and sufficient condition for human flourishing.
Living in Washington D.C., and serving as a political appointee in the the federal government during a deeply divided era in America’s history, caused me to reflect deeply on civility.
During my time in federal service, I gained a renewed appreciation of the imperative to treat all individuals with respect and dignity—not just those who were kind to me, with whom I agreed, or who could benefit me.
Reflecting a close study of the luminaries of the past, the lives of great men and women from history, as well as my own lived experience, I have discovered that civility—which is grounded in a fundamental respect for human dignity—is necessary for a thriving human society.
My essays, in the Wall Street Journal, Quillette, The Hill, The Washington Examiner, and other outlets, explore these themes. Responses to speaking engagements, during interviews, and in countless conversations, I have been affirmed that my project— an intellectually rigorous examination of why we ought to be treated, and treat others, with dignity—is “timely.”
This is because people sense something important is missing in our modern era.
My commissions at various law and policy centers, and my graduate work at the London School of Economics, were aimed at studying human problems and their solutions. My commitment to community service led me to get involved with Rotary International—I started Rotaract club in my community in high school, I was a Rotary Scholar as I earned my Masters in Social Policy in London, and I have travelled internationally to speak at their events.
As the daughter of The Manners Lady, I know my way around the cocktail party. As an American raised in Canada and educated in the United Kingdom, I have had opportunity to study the way that mores and norms support democratic institutions. As a lifelong student of great books, history, and ideas, I write on civility with a unique and fresh perspective.
My goal is to craft a book that will encourage my fellow Americans to more profoundly appreciate the ideals that made our country great—and inspire them to revive these ideals in their own lives to the end of a strengthened nation, and a more vibrant human community.