Look around you and you will find so many men trying to prove themselves to be the “real man”. Not sure what that entails! But it surely doesn’t mean that they should ill treat women or try to do crazy stuff in an attempt to prove how “manly” they are. For men who mistake all brawn and no brains to be an attractive combination – you are so wrong! In today’s world, a man with nerves of steel but a chivalrous heart is more precious to everyone than men who can just be physically strong. There is so much more than sheer strength that defines a gentleman. Let’s look at some of them:
- Service – Yes, believe it or not, serving others in their times of need doesn’t just make you a good person, it also defines you as a true gentleman. It’s not easy to serve others selflessly, though. There are many men who argue that they already help other people enough, which should be ample reason for them to be considered as true gentlemen. Well folks, one needs to find out if there were any ulterior motives behind helping someone, or doing something good for others.
Those who serve only when they know they will get something in return, or who are expecting favours at a later stage from the people they have served, they are just being good to themselves. They are not being true gentlemen. This is one form of self-serving and being calculative when it comes to choosing what actions we perform.
- Honesty – True gentlemen wouldn’t shy away from speaking the truth, even if it is not as palatable to others as it is to them. Sometimes, the truth that we speak often leaves a lingering bad taste in our own mouths, but suppressing truth for the sake of being popular, or because of cowardice doesn’t befit a man who is trying to be a gentleman. There are times when you need to be tacit while discussing matters with someone, especially in professional areas. That doesn’t mean that you be completely dishonest and dupe people. You need to learn how to be honest enough not to hurt anyone in any manner.
- Self-Reliance – We all dream big, but most of don’t want to work smart or hard for it. We are all so busy looking for shortcuts in life that we fail to realise that self-reliance is a treasure that will see us through the bad times for our whole lives. Relying on our physical and mental capabilities is a power few people possess.
Many people try to climb on the backs of other people to get what they desire, often at the cost of physical and mental illnesses caused to the people they are just using for their ends. A gentleman would avoid misusing someone’s generosity and goodness for their benefits. He would be capable enough of handling his troubles on his own, make ways to fulfil not just his dreams but even of those whom he loves the most.
- Humility – Being good at something doesn’t give one the ticket to lord over someone who is trying to be good at the same time. Let’s look at this with a simple example.
There is a man who is exceptionally good at driving and who is always the designated driver when he goes out with his friends on an adventure. He navigates cars like no one else and can make them cross even the toughest terrains. Now, there is another man or one of his lady friends who would like to learn how to be a driving expert like him. They approach him to learn a few tricks, and he scoffs at their apparent lack of knowledge and skill. He may agree to share his knowledge, but he never misses an opportunity to let the others know that they were indebted to him, and there is no something lacking in them because they had to approach him for this help in the first place.
On the other hand, there is another man who is not as skilled as the first man in driving, but who has a cheerful disposition and shares his knowledge with others just as we would share cake out of happiness and mutual friendship. He teaches his friends some tricks to improve their driving in a way that makes them feel happy and confident. Now, although the latter is not an expert as the first, due to his humility and good nature, he would be the popular car tutor than the first.
- Honour – The great bard William Shakespeare in the book Richard II had included a very profound quote that leaves a deep impact on many minds even today. “Mine honour is my life; both grow in one. Take honour from me, and my life is done.” Honour is the driving force that makes men grow into gentlemen. Courage and honour are values that go hand in hand most times.
In fact, courage is often born out of the sense of honour that we feel towards a person or ideology. You can show honour and you may not be put to test to prove your honour, so a show of courage is not always required! But the feeling of respect and loyalty when combined together makes us value certain things and people more than others. The honour that we show to things and people also define a man’s nature.
A man who honours his country above anything else is called a patriot, and a man who honours the sanctity of money in any financial deal is known as a keen businessman. A man with no honour could probably be bought at the right price, either monetary or otherwise, to do anything that we need done but don’t want to, or cannot do ourselves.
For example, consider a man who works a particular company but has no honour for it, despite it being a good company being managed by a reasonably fair management team. Now, should this person be offered a better compensation by another company for leaking trade secrets, it would be quite easy for him to accept the money and sell out his company, just because he lacks the ability to honour it.
Honour in our family name, our country, our traditions and culture, and many other important things in life make a man truly worthy of being known as a reliable person.
- Self-Discipline and Self-Reliance – The difference between animals and humans is that we learn how to control our impulses, or animal instincts, and learn to behave in a civilised manner. Should we stop doing that, we would be no better than animals. Sadly, there are several men who misuse the natural strengths they are gifted with from birth and inflict torture on people weaker and younger than them. There is no necessity to shed light on the plight of women who have suffered at the hands of unruly men, because it is such a gigantic problem that still looms large in our face, no matter which part of the earth we live on.
A true gentleman would be a master of his impulses, especially if he knows unleashing them would cause harm or pain on another person. Reacting to situations with a level head and leading a life that is productive are valuable habits that all men should cultivate if they want to be successful with the women they love and the people that matter to them.
- Fairness and Equality – Let’s be honest, there are some people we like more than we do others. Some people are foolish enough to be discriminatory on the basis of country of birth, skin colour, gender, or wealth.
There are some people who prefer the company of one person than that of others because they feel more comfortable around them. Some people are better liked because of their good nature and friendly companionship. But just because you share a better equation with some people, you cannot be biased towards them for important matters. You cannot ignore the fact that they have flaws and can make mistakes, and you must not let your closeness for one person lead to injustice being done to another person.
A true gentleman will remain unbiased, open minded, fair in making his decisions at all times. He wouldn’t discriminate on the basis of physical attributes, or attributes that never held any significance at all. Any decisions to be made would be on the basis of a person’s capabilities, knowledge, and passion for the thing or activity they are being judged for.
- Courage – Facing adversity head on and taking brave steps when no one else would requires a lot of courage. The courage to take care of your family by relying on your strengths, the courage to face the highs and lows of love, to be strong when your loved ones or you face dangers and tough times – this is something that distinguished you from the wimps who run at the first sight of trouble or discomfort, pushing the so-called women to face the licking flames of worries on their own!
- Grooming – Last, but not the least, pay attention to the way you look. Men who dress comfortably and immaculately are appreciated, but men who dress sloppily in clothes that don’t fit him well enough are not given as much importance. Grooming also includes another important personal aspect – hygiene. A person who maintains high levels of personal hygiene invariably looks neat, because he prefers maintaining a certain level of decorum and order even in the way he dresses.
Grooming is not just about looking vain or pretty. It is a reflection of the discipline you are showing to yourself, and proving that you honour the gifts you are blessed with. It proves that you are willing to make the best of what you have got and create a likeable impression on the minds of the people you meet or interact with.
So, you can see, you don’t need to perform special rituals or sacrifice a poor, speechless animal on a no moon night under a sycamore tree, naked, in order to become a gentleman. You just need to polish your rough edges and let the innate goodness in you be stronger than the negative forces that run within all of us. Take inspiration from gentlemen who faced all the troubles that they saw in their lives without losing their charm, their strength, their positivity, and dignity. Be a great gentleman yourself so that you can form a positive impression on your children and the men around you. What better compliment can you get than seeing men transform into gentlemen by taking cues from you!