George Washingtons 110 Rules of Civility

7:30 AM

As we celebrate the birth of our country while facing what could be tumultuous times, we might want to check out George Washington's 110 Rules of Civility. We might even learn something about the discipline required to live a life that is ordered by rules, especially those we should be learning from God's Word.

According to an article from Nashville Public Radio (NPR) entitled, George Washington's Rules of Civility, George was a young schoolboy in Virginia when he copied out by hand a list of 110 "Rules of civility & decent Behavior in Company and Conversation." They were originally thought to have been written by French Jesuit priests n the 16th-century. He not only wrote out each one but committed them to memory. The rules addressed etiquette, moral issues, and character.

Here is just a taste of the rules he learned. You might find some a little humorous!
  • Rule #1 - Every action done in company ought to be with some sign of respect to those that are present.
  • Rule #6 - Sleep not when others speak, sit not when others stand, speak not when you should hold your peace, walk not on when others stop.
  • Rule #10 - When you sit down, keep your feet firm and even, without putting one on the other or crossing them.
  • Rule #11 - Shift not yourself in the sight of others nor gnaw your nails.
  • Rule #22 - Show not yourself glad at the misfortune of another, though he were your enemy.
  • Rule #30 - In walking, the highest place in most countries seems to be on the right hand, therefore, place yourself on the left of him whom you desire to honor, but if three walk together, the mid place is the most honorable; the wall is usually given to the most worthy if two walk together.
  • Rule #40 - Strive not with your superiors in argument, but always submit your judgement to others with modesty.
  • Rule #56 - Associate yourself with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.
  • Rule #71 - Gaze not on the marks or blemishes of others and ask not how they came. 
  • Rule #73 - Think before you speak; pronounce not imperfectly nor bring out your words too hastily, but orderly & distinctly.
  • Rule #91 - Make no show of taking great delight in your victuals; feed not with greediness; cut your bread with a knife; lean not on the table; neither find fault with what you eat.
  • Rule #108 - When you speak of God or his attributes, let it be seriously & with reverence. Honor & obey your natural parents although they be poor.
  • Rule #109 - Let your recreations be manful not sinful.
  • Rule #110 - Labor to keep alive in your breast that little celestial fire called conscience.
Check out the complete list. We might all do well to memorize them too.









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