The Village Square has always been all about George Washington’s Rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour In Company and Conversation. We have found them wise and often a bit witty. We have a hard copy of the rules in a little red book we have more than a few times read at our Dinner at the Square events.
I just had a wonderful opportunity to talk with University of Virginia’s Ted Crackel about The Civility Project at U.Va., which will release a revised list of rules, in the spirit of Washington’s original. It is particularly wonderful that students are putting together the list. You can actually submit ideas for rules on their website: The Civility Project: George Washington Meets the 21st Century.
This isn’t any ole vanilla re-do of Washington’s rules, however. It’s got gravitas:
The Civility Project will be undertaken with organizational guidance from The Papers of George Washington, a Founding Fathers project based at the University’s Alderman Library, and with the inspiration of Judith Martin, who writes the nationally syndicated Miss Manners column in the Washington Post.
Martin and Theodore J. Crackel, editor-in-chief of the Papers of George Washington, met in 2005 when both were being honored at a White House ceremony. So when the Washington Papers staff recently discussed the idea of basing a project on our first president’s famed “Rules of Civility,” Crackel knew right away whom he wanted to enlist.
“I am absolutely delighted to have Judith Martin working with us on this effort,” Crackel said, noting that the columnist will play an active advisory role. “We in the project and the students involved couldn’t have a better adviser.”
We probably won’t sleep nights waiting to hear the results…