25 April 2010

The Essentials of the Perfect Gentleman

By the by, if the English race had done nothing else, yet if they left the world the notion of a gentleman, they would have done a great service to mankind.
Gerard Manley Hopkins

The fine and historic art of the gentleman is one that requires dedication, precision, and determination. In a contemporary society where many traditional mores have been rendered superfluous, being a gentleman can be seen as some as outdated and unnecessary. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Speaking properly, eating properly, and paying attention to one's appearance still have the same benefits that they have possessed for all history. When you look like you've got something to say, people will often listen. Being a gentleman isn't about being false or facetious, it's about setting a standard for yourself and challenging yourself to reach and maintain that standard not just for yourself but for your fellow men as well. To begin our Gentleman's Training Week, I'm giving our readers a quick primer on the essentials of becoming a gentleman. Read more below.

  1. Beauty - A gentleman takes meticulous care into his appearance. This is not to say that you need to have a medicine cabinet stocked with more cosmetics than your girlfriend or your mother, but maintaining your appearance shows that you take care of yourself and also makes you more presentable in public. Grooming doesn't make you feminine, it makes you smart.
  2. Charm - A gentleman is aware of the power of etiquette. He is courteous towards women and also towards his fellow men. He is skilled in the art of conversation and his social networking skills are impeccable. Learning how to speak and build relations with others allows you to make connections that can be rewarding in the future. You only get about eight seconds to make a good impression and a true gentleman only needs two.
  3. Intelligence - A gentleman makes himself acquainted with as much knowledge as possible. He understands that intellectual pursuits such as reading classical literature, studying a subject, learning to appreciate art, and philosophical studies increase his knowledge and grasp of the world around him, opening opportunities to explore it further. Education is one of the master keys to success.
  4. Style - The gentleman is aware of the essentials of a functional as well as fashionable wardrobe. He makes sure that his sartorial appearance is always as neat and clean as possible. Dress plays an important psychological factor in our social interactions and a stylish man radiates success and ambition. His wardrobe is not dependent on how much it cost, but on how timeless and classic the items are within.
  5. Fitness - A gentleman takes excellent care of his health and physical condition. Nutrition, health, and a fitness regimen are all important items that allow him to stay strong and in the best possible shape. Fitness also has aesthetic benefits, and a fit body increases confidence and goal-setting.


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