This week I have been working at the University of Kentucky. It is in Lexington, which is a small city of a little over 300,000 people. The over 3 square kilometre central campus dominates the south-central downtown. I found touches of calm civility on the campus, such as Muskoka chairs that are placed at numerous spots on the bluegrass lawns between the buildings. There weren’t many students around, as the academic year has finished. There were a few, though, making use of the chairs. As this is the 21st century, they were all — quite naturally — reading from tablets or smartphones, and not books.
Another civilized touch was the boxes of umbrellas placed at the entrances to buildings. Kentucky isn’t famous for horses and lush bluegrass for no reason: it rains frequently. With free grab-and-go umbrellas, you’re unlikely to be caught out in the rain on your walk across the campus. The Kentuckians I met and worked with were all friendly and warm, and the campus of the University of Kentucky reflected this welcoming spirit.