Listen to episode 177 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Being a Gentleman (The Art of Manhood & Manliness). Edited and adapted from “On the Threshold” by Theodore Thornton Munger.
Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Every man should desire above all else to be regarded as a gentleman. There once was a time when the greatest offense you could levy on man was to call him not a gentleman. But today we struggle to even understand what the term gentleman means. So today we will search it with definitions.
The word gentleman undoubtedly comes from the Latin gens, meaning tribe or family — hence all the one-sided and incomplete notions that a gentleman is a man of family. It is a good thing to born into a loving family, with inherited tastes and traditions; but birth does not make the gentleman.
The writer Julius Hare famously said that a gentleman should be gentle in everything; at least in everything that depends upon himself — in carriage, temper, construction, aims, desires. He ought, there- fore, to be mild, calm, quiet, temperate; not hasty in judgment, not exorbitant in ambition, not overbearing, not proud, not rapacious, not oppressive.
Other classic writers describe the gentleman as possessing a character that is distinguished by strict honor, self-possession, forbearance, generous as well as refined feelings, and polished deportment — a character to which all meanness, explosive irritability, and peevish fretfulness are alien; to which, consequently, a generous candor, truthfulness, dignity, and self-respect have become natural.
The gentleman is never unduly familiar; takes no liberties; is cautious of questions; is neither artificial nor affected; bears himself tenderly towards the weak and unprotected; is not arrogant; cannot be supercilious; can be self-denying without struggle; is not vain of his advantages; habitually subordinates his lower to his higher self; is (in his best condition) electric with truth, buoyant with veracity.
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