The definition of a gentleman has changed over the course of history, from a gentleman being one of noble birth, one occupying a high position to what we have to come to associate what being a gentleman entails today, a well dressed man who’s courteous and well mannered.
“Many are mad but few are roaming” is a popular saying that’s simply seeks to say that we must look beyond appearance to see the true nature of people we encounter, much like “don’t judge a book by its cover” which we do anyways.
In an almost inadvertent manner, we choose to be led by what we see and honestly no one can be faulted, for it’s the default setting of almost every human being, to make outright or some sort of preliminary judgment based on the sense of sight.
That is why it will be completely rational to treat the man in casual wear as a commoner at an event and the finely dressed in expensive suit, a guest even though it could very well be the case that the casually dressed is the one holding the event.
But human learning have come to a stage where the limitations of our sense of sight has become clear and on countless times we have found out that we actually assumed wrong based on appearance.
It is therefore imperative that in an era where the moral fabric of society is getting torn piece by piece, we try to give everyone a chance to prove themselves to be of moral soundness rather than being outrightly dismissive or welcoming based entirely on how their ability or inability to procure a fine suit or dress, the latest automobile or the latest gadgets.
These 3 simple rules I believe will ensure, if followed, that everyone is treated fairly and that we’re not found regretting for judging wrong because we were led by sight.
1. Don’t judge a book by its cover – as mentioned in the headline, the rules are simple, natural and obvious. This rule probably is the oldest in the book but the most overlooked. Appearance is a social construct as with many other social constructs, a few elites established and propagated it but that doesn’t make it an axiom. The most descent and gentle human being in the room doesn’t have to be the most expensively dressed. If anything, appearance is a facade and until an interaction with a person, you’d never know their true nature. That leads us into the second point.
2. Get closer, don’t judge from afar – Literally, getting closer to something or someone means you’d be able to see more clearly. This point is more figurative than it is literal, yet it’s both. Get closer, interact, have a conversation, get to know their point of view and their opinion on issues of social concern, then you’d get to know how they think which ultimately affects how they behave, and that, is a better indication of a gentleman or lady than those designer suits and shoes.
3. They’re how they treat subordinates – You can get a clearer indication of the junk or otherwise a person is made of by observing how they treat those ‘below’ them on the social ladder. A true gentleman treats everyone with respect even if they’re the ones offering them employment. Respect is a social language spoken by all and when one is being vulgar with their choice of words in the ‘respect lexicon’, you can always tell they’re not gentle.
Source: Nsemwoha.com | Joseph Naah-Yerreh