Candid Reflections

February 18, 2008

Happy President’s Day

Filed under: Homeschool — candid reflections @ 9:13 am

When we’ve studied early American history here at home, we’ve glanced a time or two through this nifty little book entitled Washington’s Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior by George Washington.  It’s fun to study our civilization and consider the behavior of man through time… our progression (and sometimes regression) is quite fascinating.  Let’s just take a look at our public manners, for example.  

In this little book, President Washington felt an obligation toward the general public of over two hundred years ago to compose rules such as these:

#13:  “Kill no vermin as fleas, lice, or ticks in the sight of others; if you see any filth or thick spittle, put your foot dexterously upon it; if it be upon the clothes of your companions, put it off privately; and if it be upon your own clothes, return thanks to him who puts it off.”   Insect repellant, hasn’t it done wonders for our social graces?

I didn’t know #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 honour; but if three walk together, the mid place is the most honourable; the wall is usually given to the most worthy if two walk together.”       

Then there’s rule #100:  “Cleanse not your teeth with the table cloth, napkin, fork, or knife; but if others do it, let it be done with a pick tooth.”

I can’t imagine where our country would be today without the valiant service and tremendous influence of this wise man.   That being said, “I can not tell a lie,” I must admit that I’ve picked my teeth at the table, but it was with my finger… does that count against me? 

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