George Washington’s Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior

George WashingtonThis is worth a quick quote and a pointer to George Washington’s Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior from Foundations Magazine

Today many, if not all of these rules, sound a little fussy if not downright silly. It would be easy to dismiss them as outdated and appropriate to a time of powdered wigs and quills, but they reflect a focus that is increasingly difficult to find. They all have in common a focus on other people rather than the narrow focus of our own self-interests that we find so prevalent today. Fussy or not, they represent more than just manners. They are the small sacrifices that we should all be willing to make for the good of all and the sake of living together.These rules proclaim our respect for others and in turn give us the gift of self-respect and heightened self-esteem.

When I wrote about communities and networks, I mentioned about giving up a bit of the “me” in service of the “we.” I think this is related. Click into the link and read the rules. I bet at least some of them will resonate for you.

2 thoughts on “George Washington’s Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior”

  1. Nancy, it’s always good to re-read guidelines for civility. P.M. Forni’s “Choosing Civility: The Twenty-five Rules of Considerate Conduct ( is an invaluable reference. Forni’s rules are concise and easy to remember. And reading Forni’s book always leads me to reflect on my own behavior, both civil and not so civil.

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