Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Word of a Gentleman: Rule Four

A Gentleman has Genteel Carriage
He practices to display pleasing movement and posture

Much of a Gentleman, at least his recognition as a Gentleman, is the signal he gives to society of that standard of service. A Gentleman, preeminently, is the capstone of civilization and as such must walk, literally walk, through life as if he knew the way. This, his physical entry to our lives, is the first signal to us by which we may recognize him. There is a way to move and stand and sit that is "in tune", that offers we others the hope of order in the governance of our society. A man's person, when scanned by those he serves, takes a stance somewhere between an anchored service to the task at hand and a tangled calamity of personal indecision. A man who has yet to rule his own limbs cannot rule the broader borders of the societal moment. In fact, he has not even reached the average claims of Self, the command of the realm inside one's skin. If one is not disabled (by greater forces than the average man encounters), he has no excuse for his failing. A gentleman will know where his hands and feet are, what expression moves across his face, and if such are inappropriate to the hopes of a moment, he will practice to serve us better next time.


Andrew Michael Jacobs said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I was thinking today about this very kind of thing because I am the overly-self-conscious sort. When I recognized that I was in the spotlight and it was time to remove myself, the nearest possible exit seemed like deliverance until I recognized that that exit was not the direction I needed to go, nor was it leading to a meaningful place in the eyes of those watching me nor in the eyes of those who would behold me once I passed through it.

Andrew Michael Jacobs said...

Perhaps needless to say: I chose a different route at the last second and felt awkward.