Today I am delighted to have Mrs. Deborah King share her blog post from November 12, 2012. She is a nationally recognized etiquette expert from Texas with over 25 years experience working with children, teens and corporations. This is timely as many young men are graduating from college/university and high school. Specialized career training isn’t enough anymore. Our young people are beginning to form society and if they are aware of the impact they have, then hopefully that impact will be positive and lasting.

“Being male is a matter of birth, being a man is a matter of age, but being a gentleman is a matter of choice.” ~Unknown

Being male does not guarantee a boy will grow up to be a gentleman and the current self-absorbed culture is not likely to model or promote the qualities of a gentleman. It is a process for a boy to become a man and develop into a gentleman. Parents invest a great deal of time and resources to develop their son’s academic, athletic, or artistic talent, with little or no thought as to what is required for him to mature into a gentleman.

A gentleman understands that his appearance, behavior, and way of communicating provide others with valuable insight into his character. He knows that he did not acquire his true strength at the gym. Rather, he demonstrates true strength through his strong character and integrity.

The traits of a gentleman include:

  1. A gentleman is generous with his time, wisdom, and resources. He willingly serves others and extends a hand to those in need.
  2. A gentleman possesses a positive outlook on life. His humor and consistent encouragement attract others to him.
  3. A gentleman is a lifelong learner. He maintains a teachable posture and embraces change for the better.
  4. A gentleman models civility in how he treats others. He demonstrates respect, restraint, and personal responsibility in all his interactions. He is honorable, and values and respects others.
  5. A gentleman is well-mannered and knows what is appropriate. He is able to navigate various social and professional settings with ease and proficiency. He embraces all people – those from other cultures, as well as individuals from various social and economic backgrounds.
  6. A gentleman possesses a strong work ethic. He takes pride in his labor and strives to give his very best. He is trustworthy, loyal, and people speak well of him.
  7. A gentleman is confident. His posture and body language communicate a strong personal presence.
  8. A gentleman is well-dressed. He knows how to select clothing that is appropriate for any occasion and that will assist him in accomplishing his goals. He is well-groomed and practices good hygiene. He understands that his personal appearance – the way he chooses to dress, groom, and carry himself – opens doors to new opportunities.
  9. A gentleman is well-spoken and a generous listener. He knows how to effectively connect with others and communicate his message.
  10. A gentleman is known for his integrity. He is a man of his word and follows through with his commitments, whatever the cost. His actions reflect who he has chosen to be and are not based upon the opinions of others.

Our society is a case in point for the need to embrace the understandable and, ultimately, achievable principles of being a gentleman.

The art of being a gentleman is relevant for today, and it is accessible to every man – young and old.

Written by Deborah King, What Would Mrs King Do? © Copyright 2013

The recent media stories of young men behaving badly at parties will help other young men realize that the moral high road is always better in the end.

Read Part Two – 10 Qualities of a Lady.

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