Proper Southern Manners Part 7 (Being A Gentleman)
Many, many people have asked when we were going to post part 7 in the “Proper Southern Manners Series”, well here it is.
When you read this, think about some of the things that we hear or see these days from our young men. I know times change, but sometimes not always for the better.
We would really appreciate your comments and additions to what you read in this entire series. Discussion is the first step in making a change.
Make it a great day, you deserve it!
Tracey and Aileen
P. S. Part 8 in the “Proper Southern Manners Series” is on Being A Lady (You didn’t think we would forget the girls did you?)
On Being a Gentleman
There are a number of things that go into being a Gentleman. Some of those things are addressed in other parts of this book, but it all must come together to be effective in reaching the status of “Gentleman.” The term “Gentleman” is thrown around too casually these days. A Gentleman combines the skills of manners, conversation, conduct and personal integrity all rolled into a seamless package.
Gentlemen will open doors for ladies, offer their seat to them, stand when a woman enters the room and offer their arm when going up or down steps. A Gentleman will never use foul language in front of women and children, or discuss improper topics in front of them. It is sad to say this, but it is necessary today to explain what some of those topics might be.
Examples of areas to NOT discuss in front of women and children include:
-Sexually suggestive issues or jokes
-Personal hygiene issues of a nature that are definitely private (talking about brushing your teeth is one thing, but bodily functions such as flatulence and other bowel movements are off limits).
-Gossip in general should be avoided as it is never good to spread this kind of information and it sets a poor example for children.
Avoiding these areas is a good start to conducting yourself in a manner that befits a Gentleman. Always present a positive attitude and be willing to offer assistance to others. In offering assistance, be sure it is for ethical, honorable activities.
Robert E. Lee
Probably the finest example of manhood we have is Robert E. Lee.
Lee’s description of what a gentleman should be was Lee’s description of what a leader should be. He summarized the goal when he wrote: “The forbearing use of power does not only form the touchstone, but the manner in which an individual enjoys certain advantages over others is the test of a true gentleman.”
The power which the strong have over the weak, the magistrate over the unlettered, the experienced over the confiding, even the clever over the silly – the forbearing or inoffensive use of all this power or authority, or the total absence of it when the case admits it, will show the gentleman in plain light. The gentleman does not needlessly or unnecessarily remind an offender of a wrong he may have committed against him. He can not only forgive, he can forget; and he strives for that nobleness of self and mildness of character which impart sufficient strength to let the past be the past.
A true gentleman of honor feels humbled himself when he cannot help humbling others.