The Importance of Washington's Rules of Civility

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It has been 110 days since we started posting the Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour In Company and Conversation written by George Washington in his youth. If you have been keeping up with our Facebook posts since the beginning or just joining, I thank you for your time and support. Just because our daily lessons are ending doesn’t mean we are done. There are plenty of events that you are welcomed and encourage to attend throughout George Washington Month and we would love to hear from back from you.

It is important to remind ourselves that these maxims helped mold the behavior and actions of General Washington and served him well throughout his life, and in turn, served our country. Washington was idolized for many reasons, with his character and virtues being on display for all to see, hear and critique. Yet, even people who disliked Washington had great words to say. Thomas Jefferson, who wrote a letter to Walter Jones in 1814 (see the link below), and was on unfriendly terms with Washington in the last decade of the 18th century, described the General’s character in length as he knew him: “...his integrity was most pure, his justice the most inflexible I have ever known, no motives of interest or consanguinity, of friendship or hatred, being able to bias his decision. he was indeed, in every sense of the words, a wise, a good, & a great man”.

Many people could dismiss these writings as being outdated, but it is hard to argue against the messages behind them. They instill a sense of humanity; that we should be willing to make some sacrifices for the welfare and harmony of living together. By proclaiming our respect for others, and by living these maxims, we will come to a greater sense of harmony within the community, state and nation, just like Washington lived and acted.

Tyler Vanice
GW Birthday Committee Co-Chair

The hyperlink is to…/Jefferson/03-07-02-0052