Civility and Character Education

One of the attributes I share is the promotion of the basic characteristic of any character education program: responsibility.

George Washington and many of the other USA’s founding fathers focused on how one could improve oneself as the first criterion to influence others. “The Rules of Civility,” the etiquette planner that Washington copied as a teenager, begins with the following admonition:

“Every action done in company ought to be done with some sign of respect to those who are present.”

Perhaps the concept of appropriate should be revisited. Examples abound: wearing casual clothing in private vs. in public places such as houses of worship, using certain language in private vs. in public, and doing what comes naturally in private or in public.

Civility itself is founded on the concept of taking individual responsibility for appropriateness and respect for others.