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Good Hands: A modern interpretation of George Washington's Eleventh Rule of Civility



Digital natives, as those born after the advent of the internet are known, are restless. They fidget and fiddle and cannot seem to sit still. Even as adults, it seems this particular group never quite got the memo from President Washington's 10th and 11th rules of civility. Just being able to quietly sit without a screen or game or other distraction is something they simply must learn to do.


Here, Washington tells us not to shift around. "Shifty" is a pejorative term with which no one wants to be associated. Something about a person who cannot resist squirming deems them untrustworthy. If one is found to be dishonest in appearance, a bad impression is left and the formal introduction, job interview, or date goes nowhere.


This rule also incorporates the disgusting habit of nail chewing. In public, especially at a formal event, one's hands should never go to the face. In the event of a cough, sneeze, itch, etc. excuse yourself, sanitize, and return with apologies. Nail biting? Just say "no", always. It leaves the hands looking unkempt and no one wants to shake a hand that was just in your mouth. No.


I created a list of hand habits to observe in public. It is not exhaustive and previous lists about sneezing and coughing should also be referenced for a complete education on the subject. Check it out below! #MannersMatter









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