Friday, January 27, 2006

The Word of a Gentleman: Rule One

A Gentleman is Modest.
He will live by his merits not by their advertisement.

Whatsoever a man has to his credit, be it accomplishment, wealth, or talent, it has a function. It brings to him, or to others, a good caused by the function. When a man has to, or feels he has to, announce the presence of such credits to his company, he admits that he has failed to rejoice in that which is naturally caused. His audience may have seen what the credit did cause but the wage they paid or the applause they gave was insufficient. For such a man, the perceived benefit of all personally held credits is the acquisition of admiration. The weak soul never tires of reminding the rest of his company that the thankless job of applauding remains perpetually unfinished. He does not know that the borders of the life he holds are defined by the earned price, market set, of his merits. The lot he holds (small or large) he asks us to call an empire. A gentleman will be convinced of his status by his audience and not vice versa.

4 comments:

Andrew Michael Jacobs said...

I hate to make blemishes on your blog with my comments, but I will anyway.

From your comments, I find that I am weak soul. This does not come as much of a surprise. But the way you expressed this concept of asking for v. naturally receiving praise instructs me more clearly about how to live humbly.

1. One illustration you might have amplified further is that of supply and demand. The praiseworthy traits or contributions one supplies to any given society will garner that praise as long as there is a demand for them. But a business man can only supply things, he can't necessarily control the demand. And conversely, the supply of praise you get informs you of how much youor service demands, not deserves.

2. But what about monopolizing?
A business man (or any man for that matter) with more than average savvy will also do what he can to control the demand. Whether he has a good service or not, he may attract praise not through repeatedly pointing out that he deserves credit but by increrasing the demand for his service. This is inappropriate behavior for a gentleman and a Christian, but how does it relate to "Rule One"?

3. What of the man who not only receives no credit but does not deserve any by any existing standard? What ought he to think of himself? I don't think he ought to measure his worth by the praise he receives. After all, from the True perspective, no man is truly worthy of credit for the praise he receives and his worth comes from God, not man's applause.

The Oracle said...

Andy,
Point One: True. A good man with great and needful gifts may not find the society he is in demands or values such. As a Christian and a gentleman he should not demand that they recognize his worth. He still has the treasures in heaven for humbly doing his good before God.
Point Two: Also true. This man is merely making it impossible to honor others. It is just on way that the deserving might not get what they deserve.
Point Three: A gentleman is a social position not a metaphysically exact one. If a man can do nothing that a society benefits from he is, in that society, a mere serf. He should recognise that he is a serf. The honor due a gentleman is a credit (like money) that, although metaphysically we deserve nothing but destruction, we justly receive for providing our goods to the market. The serf can have a gentlemanly attitude about his serfdom (not demanding more attention than he deserves) but he is not a gentleman because there are 14 more rules that a man without anything to offer fails to obey. Stay posted.

Andrew Michael Jacobs said...

Are these rules your own? If so, when did you finalize them and when did you begin propogating them?

The Oracle said...

Sir,
They are mine own but gathered from the teachings of Philip Stanhope, Lord Chesterfield and Balthazar Castiglione. They began to have a currency when, less than five years ago, I started the Mojo Oracles. While I could have referred any interest the two mentioned above, I knew that the West needed a simplification, a code, that was applicable regardless of culture and economic status. I trust I have come close to good things in it.