Find out more information about  
Fill out this form and a representative will contact you.
Captcha Image
Contact Us
Rules of Civility
Rules of Civility

The candidates are still duking it out. For all the lip service that has been paid about putting an end to negative campaigning, this election is certainly pushing the proverbial bar to all new lows, practically through the floor. It's almost painful to think that we still have eight more months of this trash talking to go.

All of the candidates would do well to follow the lead of our very first president, who set a standard in more ways than one.

When George Washington was a teen, he copied down the 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation, which were composed by French Jesuits back in 1595. Washington followed these rules as a character-building exercise - something we could use a lot more of these days. It's almost as if he foresaw what the voters in 2016 would be forced to suffer.

C'mon, people! It's not too late! Do yourselves and the rest of us a favor and take a lesson from Washington. After all, look how well he turned out.

Some of my personal favorites from Washington's playbook:

#1. Every action done in company ought to be with some sign of respect to those that are present.

#4. In the presence of others, sing not to yourself with a humming noise, nor drum with your fingers or feet.

#6. Sleep not when others speak, sit not when others stand, speak not when you should hold your peace, and walk not on when others stop.

#16. Do not puff up the cheeks, loll not out the tongue, rub the hands, or beard, thrust out the lips, or bite them or keep the lips too open or too close.

#20. The gestures of the body must be suited to the discourse you are upon.

#22. Show not yourself glad at the misfortune of another though he were your enemy.

#24. Do not laugh too loud or too much at any public spectacle.

#29. When you meet with one of greater quality than yourself, stop, and retire especially if it be at a door or any straight place to give way for him to pass.

#35. Let your discourse with men of business be short and comprehensive.

#63. A man ought not to value himself of his achievements, or rare qualities of wit; much less of his riches virtue or kindred.

#88. Be not tedious in discourse, make not many digressions, nor repeat often the same manner of discourse.

#89. Speak no evil of the absent for it is unjust.

And last but not least:

#110. Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.

So if you chop down a cherry tree - or disrespect your presidential opponent or television interviewer -- fess up and mind your manners.

(Disclaimer: Blame the 16th century French Jesuits, not me, for the gender-centric language of the 110 rules).

On a separate note, it seems spring has finally sprung here in the Northeast. We've had record breaking 70+ degree weather here in Manhattan the last two days, and it's still the beginning of March. Although winter is not over and we've been known to have major snow storms in April, it looks like the unseasonably warm temperatures are here for the foreseeable future. And to top it off, this weekend brings us back to daylight savings time, where we get an extra hour of daylight starting on Sunday. I hope wherever you are you're able to enjoy the good weather and extra daylight we're headed for.

Go Back

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of Jeffrey M. Weiner and do not represent those of Marcum LLP, its partners or its employees.

Meet Jeffrey M. Weiner
View Jeffrey Weiner's Profile View Profile
Download Jeffrey Weiner's Contact Card Download vCard
Connect with Jeffrey Weiner on LinkedIn Connect with Jeffrey Weiner
Follow Jeffrey Weiner on Twitter Follow Jeffrey Weiner
Subscription Preferences
Recent Posts
Change Is In the Air
Tradition of Service
Buckle Up
Because You Count
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013

New York
New Jersey
Rhode Island
Grand Cayman

Get in Touch

Get Connected
Privacy | Legal | Sitemap | Secure Mail