Educational Editorial: Civility

By Dr. Bill Bosher, NBC12 Educational Specialist

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - In recent weeks there has been considerable media coverage and conversation about disruptions during television awards shows, presidential speeches, and political campaigns. What can we teach young people about civility?

By the age of 16, George Washington -- recognized as the Father of our Country -- had written perhaps as an act in penmanship a list known as the "110 Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation."

Theses rules were based on a set composed by French Jesuits in 1594. The themes should sound familiar and be a guide to our behavior.

--Treat everyone with respect

--Be considerate of others and do not embarrass others

--Do not draw attention to yourself

--When you speak be concise

--Do not argue with your superior. Submit your ideas with humility

--When a person does his best and fails, do not criticize him

--A person should not overvalue his own accomplishments

--Do not go where you are not wanted

--Do not correct others when it is not your place

--Do not make fun of anything important to others

--Associate with good people. It is better to be alone than in bad company

--Do not be quick to talk about something when you don't have all the facts

--Do not start what you cannot finish. Keep your promises

--Do not take so big a bite that you must chew with your mouth open.

Thomas Jefferson said about our first President, "... never did nature and fortune combine more perfectly to make a man great."  Perhaps we now know why!

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