According to Edward G. Lengel's General George Washington:
Washington won respect for the sober sincerity and maturity of his thought, which distinguished him from some of his fellow patriots, and he received attention at Congress without seeming to seek it. His gravity of countenance, careful modesty, and measured speech marked him out to the delegates as a judicious man who would lead them forward with a steady hand, rather than drag them like a fury over the precipice. "He seems discret & virtuous, no harum Starum ranting Swearing fellow but Sober, steady, & calm," wrote one Connecticut delegate.
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Apparently, by this time George had developed into a more thoughtful and patient gentleman. Noted for his prior indiscretions in battle, a propensity to rush into things, and an impatience that frustrated him to no end, at this point it appears that George had become slower to speak and less likely to abruptly lose his cool. I can appreciate his developing point of view, his modest appearance, his fair and steady manner, and thoughtful tendencies.
This may give all of us a personal calling to do the same. How many times do we explode in anger or blurt out our salty opinions, knowing that they will inflict damage on others? How often do we insert "adult" language, innuendo, or euphemisms into our conversation in order to appear more cool, more worthy of inclusion, or more edgy than the last person who sat in our chair. If we can recognize these things as adults, perhaps there are some things here for fourth graders, too:
- Following the crowd does not always give you the recognition or attention you might desire.
- Put in the extra effort to be different, decent, and fair to others.
- Don't always be the funny one in the room.
- Be slow to anger, quick to listen, and slow to speak.
- Dress with decency in mind.
- Be the person who helps others shine.
- You are still developing; don't ever expect to be perfect.
- Give me a break; I ain't perfect either.