George Washington, Barack Obama, and Civility

Between the ages of fourteen and fifteen years George Washington wrote the slim volume entitled Rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation. According to the Applewood Books edition, "[t]hese rules were drawn from an English translation of a French book of maxims and were intended to polish manner, keep alive the best affections of the heart, impress the obligation of moral virtues, teach how to treat others in social relations, and above all, inculcate the practice of a perfect self-control." It would behoove America to remember these rules and use them to lower the rhetoric, eliminate the coarseness of speech, and elevate the argument to a higher moral ground. Every action done in company ought to be with some sign of respect to those that are present. Let your countenance be pleasant, but in serious matters somewhat grave. Reproach none for the infirmities of nature, nor delight to put them that have in mind thereof. Show not yourself glad at the...(Read Full Post)