Friday, June 8, 2012
George Washington’s Rules: Actions Done in Company
3rd March 2012
Among the many writings of Gorge Washington there is a list of rules for civil conduct that has taken my interest. It is because I have accepted so much rudeness in my life that I labor to commit to memory these ideas.
The first rule of civil conduct is: “Every Action done in Company, ought to be with Some Sign of Respect, to those that are Present.” Capitalization and grammar as I found the words.
Yes, I find Washington’s first rule to be rather hard to understand. Let us think of it this way. If one were to excuse themselves to use the restroom then to do so politely would show respect to those present. When a man learns he needs to zip his pants he turns away not so that others will not see for they have already but out of respect.
When speaking in a group we do not talk over each other but permit each member to speak without interruption. When a new member joins the group we do not speak as if they never arrived but greet that person and fill them in on the conversation so that they may be a part.
I will note that as a man charged with looking after the young homeless population of Los Angeles I should set an example. Likewise, as a man who would like one day to have children I should set an example, and as a man of any decency what so ever I should hold myself to this idea.
May you find the civility I emulate
Richard Leland Neal