Manners Maketh Man? ….. I’m not to sure

Ah... but what makes  a gentleman!

Ah… but what makes a gentleman!

“Being male is a matter of birth. Being a man is a matter of age. But being a Gentleman is a matter of choice.”

Vin Diesel

Like many individuals of my age, I spend very little of my time on Facebook, or twitter, let alone the myriad of other social networks, but, very occasionally a fine ripe plum falls down from its multitudinous branches, and drops onto nose.

Sometimes such a plum is ripe with humour, at times terribly sad and moving, and at other times the taste is so ludicrous so as to defy belief in the world around me, but then, once in a blue moon, and borne on the back of a flying pig or two an extra special plum falls. Initially it seems very much like all the others, but it gets you thinking about things in a way that you have rarely thought about before

So it was that upon receiving an email that I had new Facebook messages, I checked my message panel to reveal the picture and quote at the top left of this post

At first it seemed to be like so many other messages sent to me, but as I looked at the picture, I began thinking

  • What exactly is a gentleman and
  • apart from the blindingly obvious physiological changes, at what age does a man ever cease to become a boy

Please note, ladies, the  same rule of thumb is applicable, or as non applicable to both sexes, as will be covered later in the post, but  first, what of the men who may or may not stand by your side.

gent 3When I was growing up the rules of gentlemanly conduct were, on the face of it, fairly simple

  1. You held open doors for Ladies
  2. You gave up your seat on the bus or train for Ladies
  3. You bought your Lady ,flowers and chocolates
  4. When you went out with a Lady, you picked up the tab, you escorted her as if you were her consort, and made sure that she got home safe and sound
  5. You respected the fairer sex, and, as far as you knew how, you acted in accordance with what your dad told you  a gentlemen should be

Brilliant you thought, nothing could be simpler. Follow those four rules of thumb, and life would be yours, and you hoped your partners, to enjoy

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????No such luck though, for, quite rightly, women gained more power within society, and, theoretically at least, such rules were pushed to one side. For example, what happens in today’s society when you, the perfect gentleman, try to apply such rules

  1. Hold a door open today, and you may well find your nose pushed up against it
  2. Offer your seat, and you may well be considered a pervert, a rapist, or a serial adulterer, so check out the look in a womans eyes
  3. By all means do so, but you may be regarded as a sucker, or receive an enquiry of..what’s your game?
  4. Picking up the tab may well earn you brownie points, but be careful to remember that your lady is now your equal if not your better, and she may well want to pay
  5. Respect the fairer sex by all means, and you may well end up with their love and approval, but what your Dad told you is now probably complete bunkum, so be careful about applying such a rule

Now onto man’s age, and his potential maturity. Personally I don’t think that men ever really grow up properly, for within most men does there not lurk, an unrequited and still very noisy child? I would say that this sis a good thing for when inner children die of all together pomposity, self importance, and boorish stupidity often reigns supreme. I like it when I can see a child in an adult, a man or a woman, for who, in all honesty, apart from incidences of pain or hardship, ever wants top lose such dreams

I could be wrong here, but I reckon that a sign of a man being a man is when he realises that he is a bit of a schmuck and an idiot,  that he often is wrong and vulnerable, and that has no message for the world. At least he can then look around him with sense of humility and self honesty, and recognise that, all to often, he is a bit of a clown.

Ok ladies, that’s the guys done and dusted, how do you Ladies fare in this strange old world of ours.

ladyWhen I asked my Dad, how I should recognise a Lady, I was given the following reply

” A woman is always a Lady, until she proves herself otherwise”

A strange reply, some might say, and I am sure that too many feminists, it has undertones or overtones that may seem wrong, but, overall, it is a code that I have always followed to this day. Regardless of sex I have always tried to respect and honour any man or woman that I have met in my life, as an intelligent courteous adult, and to do so on more than one occasion should first encounters go awry.

As such I refer you to the picture to the left of this text. I know not who she is, nor what she is looking at, but she seems at peace with herself, and, even by appearances alone, a potentially very pleasant and probably intelligent person to know

I could be wrong of course, as appearances can be deceptive, but I am sure that most of us would be very comfortable in her, or others of her ilk’s company, and perfectly happy for such an acquaintanceship to grow

binge 2Unfortunately things can so easily change

If being a gentleman is  a matter of choice, then does such a rule apply to being a Lady as well.

If so, then what of the Lady on the left.

Is she a Lady, was she a Lady, and will she be a Lady when she sobers up, who knows, and possibly, who cares

We all like to enjoy ourselves, and to express who we are and want to be with absolute freedom; and, as such, if men or women want to disport themselves in such poses or activities then so be it.

All I can say is that, upon looking at such a ladies or gentlemen in question, for men are just as bad, I would retain the right to be an old fashioned gentleman, and pass by on the other side of the road.

Maybe, in such statements as began this post there is a statutory lesson and warning in us all, but as this post draws to a close I leave you with a somber animation that, in part, sums up all that has gone before

bye for now, from an old codger who still believes in old fashioned values, and who has no desire to change

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Categories: Just a thought

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3 replies

  1. Hi Chris, very insightful. I still believe in the old standards, but I think that one word sums up everything you have written – mutual *respect*. It seems as though this one little word has disappeared from almost everyone’s vocabulary. If you respect yourself, you will respect others. If you have manners, you will apply them to yourself and others. Simple.



    • Hi Chantalle

      Ah yes, good old respect. I wish it was that simple, but what your own set of respectful values are at odds with others or someone else around you? What if, like me, you have litle or no respect for yourself, does that preclude respect for others? Finally one persons manners may well, be another persons mind, be an absolute anathema, so, in order to satisfy all parties, what package of manners should be assemblked, and in terms of un-mannerly behaviour, where should we draw the line?

      Thank you for the comment though, another post related to this issue comming up shortly



  1. Respect…a gift from the Gods, or a multi edged sword of destruction? | Let me tell U a story

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