“Why Mean, Green and Ugly?”
I’ve lived in seven countries and traveled through/been a tourist in fifteen more.
I’ve met and worked with people from many different backgrounds, wildly varied lifestyles and numerous first languages. Plus I’m a voracious reader (and audio book listener).
I make it a point to find writers from other countries who have something interesting to say (from Alexander Dumas to Peter Hoeg) “Mean, Green and Ugly” came about after I volunteered on an anti-hate, religious tolerance telephone hot line.
People would call in to ask about one “cult” or another, freaked out that a loved one or family member was involved. (Maybe you didn’t know that a Lutheran would consider Southern Baptists a “cult” – neither did I before I worked with the hot line.)
Many of the things I heard accepted as true by callers were so obviously, in my opinion, false. Generalities abound about: Catholics, Jews, Lutherans, Muslims, born-again right-wing Christians, “new religions” (isn’t any religion less than 3,000 years old, relatively new?).
Information that “everybody knows” isn’t necessarily factual. Over the course of five years and after answering more than 5,000 calls, I learned a lot about how animosity for one group developed and how such ill feelings could be cooled off by getting facts, finding out more, talking to people directly, asking questions, reading and seeing things for oneself. Thus, “Mean, Green and Ugly”” was started.
The sentence I wrote about hate not being “mean, green and ugly” is what propelled me – because I knew hate isn’t like that and the world would be so much better off if it were. I couldn’t find any other resource like this book out there, so kept going until I had a book I thought would be useful to anyone who deals with people (from parents to teachers, from managers to sales people, from electricians to IT professionals).
In short, I think it’s a book anyone could read and find useful.
I certainly hope you find it so.