A true Gentleman
Ladies & Gentleman…
This phrase you will hear in the English language all the time. It is nowadays the most common way to address women and man either in a letter, email or even in a speech. On the other side, the word gentleman is also used to describe a man with high standards of courtesy, honor, integrity, loyalty and many other positive character traits.
So what is it, that makes a normal man to be worthy being called a true gentleman?
Most people would agree with me if I would use James Bond as an example of a Gentleman, and I am almost certain that you my dear reader will agree as well? But let’s have a look first on the history of gentleman before we come to answer that question, shall we?
In the old days, Gentleman was indeed the lowest rank a person of nobility could have. It has been used for the younger sons of barons and knights. To acquire the next rank in nobility, a gentleman would have to become an esquire of a knight (a helper of a knight). You see, being called a gentleman in the middle ages in Europe, was not necessary a compliment, but rather a pitiful title. Nonetheless, in order to qualify for the title of a gentleman, the man needed to come from a family that owned a coat of arms (the coat of arms you see on the left, is indeed the coat of arms of the Family of James Bond).
In 1630 the first book was published in England describing the behavior of a gentleman (The complete English Gentleman, by Richard Brathwait’s).
The word gentleman as an index of rank had already become of doubtful value before the great political and social changes of the 19th century gave to it a wider and essentially higher significance. The change is well illustrated in the definitions given in the successive editions of the Encyclopedia Britannica. In the 5th edition (1815), “a gentleman is one, who without any title, bears a coat of arms, or whose ancestors have been freemen.” In the 7th edition (1845) it still implies a definite social status: “All above the rank of yeomen.” In the 8th edition (1856), this is still its “most extended sense”; “in a more limited sense” it is defined in the same words as those quoted above from the 5th edition; but the writer adds, “By courtesy this title is generally accorded to all persons above the rank of common tradesmen when their manners are indicative of a certain amount of refinement and intelligence.”
But enough of history now, what is a modern Gentleman?
If you do a search on internet, you will find all sorts of lists of 5, 10, 20 or any other number of character traits a gentleman should have.
Here I do want to give you a few pointers to begin with if you want to become a true gentleman;
- A gentleman is at all times honest.
- A gentleman does protect weaker beings (humans and animals)
- A gentleman is humble at all times.
- A gentleman does not swear
- A gentleman treats women with respect and admiration
- A gentleman forgives others if they make mistakes
Those are only a few points you would have to consider if you would like to become a true gentleman. However, there is much more involved and it would simply too much to write, but it would be my pleasure to spend time with you to talk it over and engage into the beautiful life the world of a gentleman must offer.
Now, do you think that James Bond would qualify for a gentleman? I would say… No… Yes, he is dressed very nicely, and he knows how to behave in public. He does stand in for weak and suppressed people. However, he is not very humble and lies quite a lot (which he probably has to in his line of work). However, the way he treats women is not the way of a gentleman! Yes, he is very nice with them and knows how to make and give compliments, but in the end, he is using the women for his advantage or for pleasure! A Gentleman would never use or seduce a woman.