Talking about

The State of Civility
in America

with "Pay It Forward" Author

Visit Catherine's Website

Learn more about this fascinating woman -- author, astrophotographer,  animal activist-- at 


In 2000, Catherine founded the  Pay It Forward Foundation,  "to inspire growth for the Pay It Forward philosophy, acts of kindness among strangers, generating a ripple effect from one person to the next, one community to the next."

Her latest novel,  "Boy Underground,"released December 7th,  is available now in Kindle, hardcover, paperback, audio CD, and as an Audible download.  Order on Amazon.


We launch  our series on "The State of Civility in America" with a lively conversation with Catherine Ryan Hyde, New York Times Best-Selling Author of "Pay It Forward,"  the book that started a Movement that's needed now more than ever.   Catherine has written 40 books, including her latest novel "Boy Underground" which was just published.   The theme of civility runs through all  of Catherine's  writing.   In this interview she shares the insights she has gained about  what we can do to turn things around and reverse the declining state of civility in our own country.

And there is little doubt that America is becoming a meaner, nastier place to live.  Surveys  – including the one we're conducting on our website – make it painfully clear that civility is on the decline.  


We've all experienced it, seen the videos or read the stories about the shocking rise of rudeness in our country over the past few years.  A man punches a female flight attendant in the face…. a customer screams obscenities at a store employee who politely asked them to wear a mask … drivers blithely cruise through stop signs… election officials get death threats … and much, much worse.  January 6th stands as a horrific harbinger of what's to come if we can't rekindle the kindness that many like Catherine believe is still inside us all.  It is just afraid to come out.


We agree.   We remember when common decency, good manners, being considerate, caring for others, being compassionate --  Civility -- was  the norm.     We think it can  be again, and there are many people, experts and everyday citizens, who feel the same way.  The big question is – how do we turn things around?  

We want to hear from you, and to get the conversation started, we'd be thrilled if you would take a few minutes to answer  a few questions about Civility  on our survey Your answers will help shape the episodes, and we'd REALLY appreciate it if you'd share your thoughts  in your own voice;   you can find out how to record a short  audio file  on our SHARE  page.  Just email it to us, and we'll try to include your comments in the podcast.

The survey shouldn’t take more than  ten minutes to complete, and you'll  be able to see the  results once you click "submit."


We thank you in advance for participating.  Please  share the survey with anyone who you think would be interested;  just forward the email you received from us, or copy-and-paste this link  into a post on your Facebook page, or in an email, tweet  or text:


You can listen to our conversation with Catherine Ryan Hyde on our player below, or find a complete listing of our free podcasts on our Podcast  Episodes Page.   You can also pick your favorite podcast platform on the Where to listen page.   

Speaking of "Pay It Forward..."

 We think Civility is a cause worth working for, and we're looking forward to investigating why our national character seems to be in such steep decline.  We're even MORE committed to finding ways to turn it around.   We're eager to dive into the research and find the fascinating people with stories to tell and  answers to share.  We want to make a difference... but to be honest, producing this podcast is a struggle.  Right now, we could really use some help covering the costs.    If  you agree with the goal and want to help, please consider becoming a Supporting Member of the Our Generation family by clicking on the "Support" button.  All transactions are processed by secure servers, and 100% of all contributions go to cover the direct costs of producing this podcast




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Remembering Michael Lang

    We were deeply saddened to learn of the death  on January 8th, 2022 of Michael Lang,  the Visionary Creator of Woodstock '69,  the man who dreamed of gathering people from all over for three days of Peace, Love and Music in the countryside of Upstate New York...and, along with his "Woodstock Family," made it happen... when he was just 23.  

    Michael had a profound impact on the hearts and minds of millions of us ... proving that peace was possible, that love was indeed all we need.  His message echoes out across our land today, in a country where his vision is needed now more than ever.  

  We are sad at the passing of such a kind man who taught us so much, so gently...but we feel blessed to have recorded an interview with him for "The Woodstock Episodes" on our podcast in 2020.  In his memory, and in the hope that Michael's powerful message of peace, love and music can be heard by as many people as possible in this troubled time, we are re-broadcasting an updated version of our 2020 interview with Michael. 


  In a way, Michael's episode fits perfectly into our ongoing series on "The State of Civility in America," because that was exactly what he promoted with Woodstock.  

Please listen.   

Continued on Michael's Bio Page

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