The world at large has had the wool pulled over its eyes. It’s been spun a yarn. Sold a bill of goods. And what’s worse – it’s harming boys and girls, marriages and parenting.
What do you picture when you think of a gentleman? If you’re anything like most people you picture someone well-dressed and with impeccable manners.
A dude in a tailored suit holding open the door for a woman. Laying his jacket over a puddle so she doesn’t get her feet wet. Giving a great speech to a crowd. But that’s where most people begin and end – they’ve only focused on the gentle part of gentleman.
The other side of the coin
It takes guts to stand up in front of a crowd and give a speech. It takes sacrifice to wreck your best jacket for someone else’s benefit.
The first requirement for being a gentleman is being a man.
And I don’t mean being born with the right genital equipment, that’s being male. There are many males in the world, but few men.
Etiquette means nothing if you’re a door-mat to everybody. It doesn’t count if you hold open her door if you’re doing it out of fear (of not being seen as polite, of wanting to be her door-mat). It only counts if you really don’t want to bother, but you do it anyway.
The virtue of any endeavour depends on it requiring self-control.
A rabbit isn’t virtuous for not attacking innocent people, because it never entered its little rabbit head to do so. There was no self-control involved.
It’s only when you are capable of doing evil, heck, even desiring it sometimes, that not doing evil becomes a virtue.
So in essence, the first requirement of being a gentleman is to be strong enough and vicious enough to do wrong. In other words, being a man.
Look around the world on any given day and you will see lots of men without the gentle part. Muslim males that beat their wives. Bikers that prostitute their wives and girlfriends if they run out of drugs. Males in the projects that father who knows how many children that they have nothing to do with.
These are all males. The capacity to do whatever they want, without restraint.
But it’s the restraint that makes us good. Virtuous.
It’s being gentle, despite being able to be otherwise. Despite wanting to be otherwise.
The world has no use for “gentlemen” without the “men” part
There is no place for the man who can’t open the jar of pickles for his woman. For the man that can’t inflict damage to protect his family.
Sacrifice and restraint, strength on behalf of others (the gentle part of the equation) is vitally important. But if that’s all you are, then you’re just a Gentle, not a Gentleman.
Ask the experts – women
Watch women for what traits they respond to and which repulses them. Unmanly stuff. Being the doormat, being needy and clingy. Being Ineffectual. Not having self-discipline.
The world should be nervous
The world should rightfully despise men without restraint. The world should rightfully despise women without restraint. But the world should desire gentlemen (it needs them), and the world should absolutely be nervous of the gentlemen. Because one day they’re going to remember that the gentle part is optional, a choice. And that when the occasion calls for it, the gentlemen of the world can choose to forgo the restraint and do what needs to be done.
Remember when it was a compliment to be called God-fearing. I think the world likes to think of God as this sweet, kind, helpful, doormat kind of guy. They’ve forgotten the reasons why He should be feared at the same time as being loved.
And that’s the image a gentleman was made in.