A while back I noted my fondness for Rumsfeld’s Rules, today I ran across George Washington’s Rules of Civility via NewsScan Daily (a great little free e-newsletter). These are great. Really, really old, yet somehow timeless. Most of ’em, anyway. Here are some of my favorites:
Every Action done in Company, ought to be with Some Sign of Respect, to
those that are Present.
In the Presence of Others Sing not to yourself with a humming Noise, nor
Drum with your Fingers or Feet.
Let your Discourse with Men of Business be Short and Comprehensive.
Be not hasty to beleive flying Reports to the Disparagement of any.
Detract not from others neither be excessive in Commanding.
Be not apt to relate News if you know not the truth thereof. In
Discoursing of things you Have heard Name not your Author always A Secret
There are more, but I’ll let you discover them on your own. There are some pretty funny ones in there too.
On the whole, this reminds me of our tendency to think that we (substitute your own generation for "we") are the smartest generation to grace God’s green earth. We seem to think and act as if those that came before us are obviously outdated and doddering and those behind us are brash and inexperienced. Certainly that’s not the case, but even though I know that, I’m still a little bit stunned at some of the tidbits of wisdom that Washington wrote down so long ago.