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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Part VIII: George Washington’s Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior

At the age sixteen, George Washington wrote out by hand, 110 Rules of Civility. These are based on a set of rules composed by French Jesuits in 1595. The rules have one major interest in common; a focus on other people rather than on our own self-interests which is so prevalent today. Some of his ideas may seem quaint to our modern minds but they are an excellent reminder of the importance of being a gentleman!

81 Be not curious to know the affairs of others, neither approach those that speak in private.

82 Undertake not what you cannot perform but be careful to keep your promise.

83 When you deliver a matter do it without passion and with discretion, however mean the person be you do it to.

84 When your superiors talk to anybody neither speak nor laugh.

85 In company of those of higher quality than yourself, speak not ’til you are asked a question, then stand upright, put off your hat and answer in few words.

86 In disputes, be not so desirous to overcome as not to give liberty to one to deliver his opinion and submit to the judgment of the major part, specially if they are judges of the dispute.

87 [damaged manuscript] as becomes a man grave, settled, and attentive [damaged manuscript] [predict not at every turn what others say.

88 Be not diverse in discourse; make not many digressions; nor repeat often the same manner of discourse.

89 Speak not evil of the absent, for it is unjust.

90 Being set at meat scratch not, neither spit, cough, or blow your nose except there’s a necessity for it.

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