Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Word of a Gentleman: Rule Three

A Gentleman has Good Breeding.
He is obedient to instruction regarding the artful treatment of others.

If someone is considered "well bred" it is not a claim to pedigree or the respective DNA traits of his parents. But it used to be. Breeding harkens back to that distinctive, as well bred behaviour was, for centuries, in keeping with those of good family. Affluence produced opportunities for an advanced pattern of life. Art came with leisure and the art of societal interaction was no exception. But even in those of good family, the good breeding we acknowledged was learned. If the well bred learned, he listened. If he listened, his attention was given to those who advocated the social standards. If the well bred learned, he obeyed. He saw that the standards he heard were no less a law than those of our civil or moral codes, with appropriate punishments he could do without. This is a monastic discipline without the flight from the world. Our order is that of The Cosmopolitine Friars. Whatever (or whereever) the standards, such monks have ears turned, and submission ready, to those things that please others in their company because they wish that their company's pleasure not depend on accident.

No comments: