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Needed: More Gentlemen

August 8, 2012

A gentleman. Some might find it hard provide a definition but we all know one when we meet one. Sadly, there aren’t many to be found – especially in the under 30 set. Sadly.

Want to know the definition of a gentleman? A gentleman is simply a man with manners. Ah – and there’s the rub – who decides what constitutes manners in this day and age? Well, my personal favorite arbiter of manners is Peggy Post.  She married into the family of Emily Post who began writing about etiquette in the early part of the 20th century.  Peggy Post is carrying on her mission of educating folks about being polite, thoughtful and how to do the right thing in both their personal and business lives.

Which brings me to the point this blog – written for the young men out there.  If there are any of you who are even remotely interested in being a gentleman – if for  no other reason than you’d like others to think even more highly of you – then read on.  However, if you are one of the multitudes of young men out there who don’t really care, weren’t taught the right way to behave and are quite satisfied with how you are, then the following will not be pertinent.  Unfortunately – while not criminal – I’d bet you are somewhat thoughtless, selfish, boorish and arrogant. Yeah, baby – you’re all that – any woman is lucky to be with you. You aren’t interested in self-improvement because you don’t see the need for improvement.  Yeah….

But for those of you who are interested in being/behaving like a gentleman – if for no other reason than you realize the benefits for you, especially socially – allow me to share with you just 3 basic things you need to know to set you on the right path:

1. If you are in the company of others, silence your personal device and give whomever you are with your undivided attention. You can do this….really.

2.  If you are with a woman (any woman) whom you’d like to impress or to whom you’d like to express your respect, do so with your actions.  Hold open doors, allow her to exit an elevator first, walk with her and not ahead of her – you know, think of her first. Be thoughtful – it is the hallmark of a true gentleman. Whether or not she appreciates or even protests that you don’t need to perform such niceities, believe me when I say that she’ll be impressed and think you quite the romantic. Still don’t believe me?  Well, the proof lies in the fact that the best selling literary genre among women is romantic fiction and the top earning chic-flicks are all romcoms. Women. Like. Romance. And, gentlemen are romantic – boorish, ill-mannered men are not.

3.  Be thoughtful and considerate to everyone. Period. This may take some effort and research for those of you who weren’t fortunate enough to be raised by parents or grandparents who expected you to be and act like a gentleman.  I’m truly sorry if you didn’t have this. And, if you were raised to think that you were and are the center of their universe and that everything/anything you do is acceptable and special, I am really sorry. I hate to be the one to break this to you – but the earth does NOT revolve around you. I checked. But you can self-correct – if you want to.

Now, if you’d like further clarifcation and more detail about specific circumstances regarding gentlemanly behavior, you might find a true gentleman’s book, Essential Manners for Men by Peter Post, helpful and of interest.

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