Tuesday, September 29, 2009

110 Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior - Rule 1

In 1748, at the age of 16, George Washington had penned "110 rules of civility and decent behavior in company and conversation", based on a set of rules written by the French Jesuits in 1595.

I was asked recently what "my blog was all about" and I momentarily forgot. Then I looked up at the title of my blog "Back to Basics" and the URL "ForgottenFoundation..." and reminded myself why I started this writing project. One reason of course was to practice writing, but the second reason was to remind ourselves of the wisdom, prudence and genius of our founders in the creation of the greatest nation on earth.

Our founders created a system that protects every individual; and ensures life, liberty and the right to private property for EVERY person. I believe that as we continue to understand the values and beliefs of our founders, we will come to a greater appreciation of what freedom means, how freedom is preserved and what threatens our freedom.

Our founders were God-fearing men that put their country before themselves. Living by the same rules that they lived by, can only help us to get back to the conservative values that will lead to true progress within our society.

In the spirit of learning about our founders, I am embarking on a mission. Each rule that George Washington penned at the age of 16 will be copied here, possibly translated if the old-English is hard to understand, and I will challenge myself to follow each rule on the day that it is released. Of course, following all the rules, all the time would be preferable, but I prefer baby steps. I'll leave it to you to challenge yourself on these rules. It's basically just good manners, so maybe we can all use a reminder on how to act.

I will also admit that I got this idea from a guest on the Colbert Report. AJ Jacobs spent a year living by these rules. Colbert is a great and credible source for "edutainment", OK, that may be a stretch.

"Every Action done in Company, ought to be with Some Sign of Respect, to those that are Present."


  1. You mention quite a bit how the founding fathers were giving these rights of life, liberty, and right to private property for EVERY person. Even when they wrote it they had slaves and women couldn't own anything so how can we follow their Ideals when they didn't do it themselves?
    Just curious what your thoughts are on this

  2. Didn't I assign this to you to read when you were homeschooled? I feel like I should take some credit for you knowing about George's rules.