Many of us have experienced a coarsening at all levels of society. Who hasn't been dismayed by the rudeness on the streets, the disregard of the comfort of others in public places, the rage which flares out not only on roads but also in schools and sports events. Clearly we have lost sight of civility, a spiritual practice which enriches our lives and our interactions with others.

Here's one specific civil act to consider. In a recent article in USA Today, travel writer Christopher Elliott wrote: "You may have the ability to recline your seat on an airplane but you shouldn't. It's rude and it's wrong." That because passengers are really, really, out of space.

Airlines used to offer economy class seats with 36 inches between them, but now they have cut back to only 28 inches so they can squeeze in more rows and more passengers. This means, states Elliott, "should you recline your seat, you'll end up in someone's lap."

Flying nowadays is often a stressful and irritating experience. You can lessen the discomfort of those around you by something as simple as not reclining your seat.

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