What is Radical Decency? A values-based approach to living that emphasizes decency to self, others, and the world. Decency is respect, understanding, empathy, acceptance, appreciation, fairness and justice. It’s Radical when practiced at all times, in every context, and without exception.

What problem does it solve? Our culture is consumed with winning. Since everyone is competing with me, I must compete back. You undercut me? I have to undercut you. These harmful anti-values have infiltrated every area of living from the most personal and private to the most public and political.

Can Radical Decency really change things? A values-based problem requires a values-based solution; a dramatic shift in values. But while good values are contagious and can spread fast, how do you jumpstart the process? Radical Decency’s key insight is that applying its 7 values in every area of living allows us to live better – right now – even as we help to create a different and better world.

Our Vision. Imagine a world in which:

  • All of our relationships are based on respect, understanding, empathy;
  • Businesses treat us – as workers and consumers – with fairness and consideration;
  • Politicians actively encourage and support Decency 7 Values;

And, crucially,

  • We treat ourselves with the same kindness and understanding we extend to others.

Radical Decency is a big vision, to be sure. But the future is inherently uncertain – so who knows? In the meantime, we are sustained by the knowledge that living this way is its own reward.

Join us!  Sign up for our mailing list! You’ll receive a weekly Reflection that discusses how to live a more radically decent life, as well as a podcast in which Jeff Garson, the philosophy’s originator, discusses the week’s reflection.

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Latest Postings

Decency Inspired Religion — Story of the Two Marys (Book Excerpt)

Consider inspiration  that religion has to offer, even to secular people like me. Many years ago, when Dale (my wife)  and I were on a service trip to Haiti, we shared a guesthouse with the “two Marys,” spunky young nurses from St. Louis. Devoted Catholics, they worked as unpaid volunteers for several months, each year, …

Radically Decent Politics — Talking With “Racist” Uncle Joe (Book Excerpt)

Our current norm is to avoid these emotionally sticky political discussions. So, when Uncle Joe shows up at the family picnic and launches into his intolerant rant about African-Americans – or Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump – our strong instinct is to avoid this uncomfortable topic. Most of us remain silent or, at most, offer …

Radically Decent Politics — A Progressive/Conservative Abortion Talk (Book Excerpt)

Suppose I’m in a conversation with an entrenched conservative who says: “How do you feel about abortion? Are you pro-choice or pro-life?” My initial instinct, reflecting my progressive tribal roots, might be to simply say, “pro-choice.” And this would be an honest answer, if our only choice is to either allow abortion or to ban …