Alexandra Hudson is an award-winning journalist, author, and speaker. She is also the founder
of Civic Renaissance, a newsletter and intellectual community dedicated to moral and cultural
renewal. Her first book, The Soul of Civility: Timeless Principles to Heal Society and
Ourselves, was published by St. Martin’s Press.
We live in fractured days, lacking in harmony, civility, and comity. “Comity,” an old word for courtesy and kindness, is related etymologically to the Sanskrit word for “smile.” As it often does, etymology here beautifully illuminates a reality, in this case about both kindness and smiling: they unceasingly bring warmth, joy, and a smile to both giver and receiver.