Monday, February 21, 2011

On Presidents Day

In light of all the events in the news these day, I realized this morning that I am very grateful to George Washington. There was nothing to say he couldn't serve a third term, or a fourth, or a fifth, but he decided not to run again after a second term. What an amazing thing to see, someone who would rather retire to his farm than be in power.

I re-read Maira Kalman's reflection on George Washington this morning and was inspired to look up his Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior which are delightful.

It's hard to say which one is my personal favorite. I do like 25: "Superfluous Complements and all Affectation of Ceremony are to be avoided, yet where due they are not to be Neglected." Number 79 could bear more use: "Be not apt to relate News if you know not the truth thereof." And who would gainsay this: "Shake not the head, Feet, or Legs roll not the Eyes lift not one eyebrow higher than the other wry not the mouth, and bedew no mans face with your Spittle, by approaching too near him when you Speak."

Truly, though, we were very fortunate to have Washington. He's worth remembering, and being thankful for.


Buffy said...

I just gave you the Stylish Blogger award:

Anonymous said...

I stumbled on a performance of Aaron Copland's "Lincoln Portrait" on NPR - another lovely piece to remember in honor of Presidents' Day. There's a link to a performance, an interview with Copland, and a transcript of the text, liberally laced with selections from Lincoln's speeches, here:

LKT said...

Dear Buffy,

Thank you! I'm honored!

Anonymous Lincoln Fan: I do love that piece. Thanks for the link.