Episode 75: Stop Being Polite! How Civility Can Save Our Country with Alexandra Hudson

Alexandra Hudson discusses her book The Soul of Civility.


Alexandra Hudson


Can civility save our country? In this episode, Robert talks with Alexandra Hudson, an award-winning journalist, speaker, and author of the book The Soul of Civility: Timeless Principles to Heal Society and Ourselves. “A refugee from the federal government,” Alexandra grew up in a home that prioritized politeness and viewed education as a lifestyle. Yet when she began working for the U.S. Department of Education, Alexandra soon discovered that her coworkers used politeness for corruption and also didn’t care about education. In this conversation, Alexandra discusses her disillusionment with the Department of Education, not living a boxed life, the difference between politeness and civility, why we need less politeness in the world, how to respect someone while sharing hard truths, why the left and right don’t share the same vision, how incivility hurts both others and ourselves, how one individual can start a quiet revolution that can change the world, and how the classical model of education can be used to teach future generations the art of being civil.

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  • [00:00] Alexandra Hudson on civility and education
  • [02:32] Raised in a curious home by her mom, Judy the Manners Lady
  • [05:08] Disillusionment in working for the U.S. Department of Education led to writing The Soul of Civility
  • [15:37] Politeness vs. civility
  • [21:09] Apocalyptic rhetoric, dehumanization, loss of shared values and vision between the right and left
  • [22:45] How to maintain dignity even with disagreements
  • [23:13] Incivility harms others and degrades one’s own soul
  • [24:21] Segregation deforms souls, both segregated and segregator
  • [29:33] How to build trust and friendship across differences
  • [32:36] How to cultivate civility through classical education


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