In an era of modern conveniences and instant communication and gratification, it seems manners often go by the wayside. George Washington lived by rules of civility. Why can’t we? The rules he modeled his life after were created for a different era, but we can easily modernize them for our own seemingly uncivilized world.
Modernizing George Washington’s Rules of Civility
I used to make treats every week for my husband’s Sunday School class.
He taught a group of a dozen or so pre-teens. When my husband reluctantly started relaying to me the things some of them would do or say if they didn’t like what I made, I immediately stopped baking them anything.
The behavior ranged from spitting out what they didn’t like in the garbage can in front of the entire class to even complaining about something I didn’t make them.
While this might leave you wondering about the quality of my baked goods… I can assure you they were all tried and true. So, I honestly wasn’t offended by the fact that they didn’t like what I made (you don’t like almond flavoring in your chocolate swig cookies… fine, more for me); What really upset me was the fact that they were so blatantly rude and so vocally ungrateful toward the person who took time out of their busy schedule to make something for them.
I wondered what their mothers would think. I never told them, though I’m sure they would have been embarrassed at their child’s behavior. I’ve often thought all those kids could benefit greatly from a Manners 101 course.
What ever happened to manners anyway? Social graces? Niceties? Tact? Etiquette? Whatever you want to call them, I am certain we can all agree that they are immensely lacking these days.
If you were to ask our nation’s first president, George Washington, about how to keep these kids from embarrassing themselves (and their parents too), he would undoubtedly have some ideas up his sleeve. The man had a stalwart reputation for his good manners.