Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Word of a Gentleman: Rule Fourteen

A Gentleman is Employed.
He is advancing when not in company.

By employment we are not suggesting having a job, as beneficial as that is. What we mean is that a Gentleman should not be static, content with the status quo in the breadth of his circumstances. Much of this Word of a Gentleman has described his time in society. This Rule addresses what is done in society's absence. In that absence, a Gentleman is free from the performance obligations, but a Gentleman does not switch off. What he is, what he contains, can advance and increase if he employs himself in those spheres. This employment can be anything from reading the newspaper to formal education, anything that contributes more of the outside world to his fiefdom. Without growth, it is not long before the Gentleman's offerings in society become stale, like his jokes he keeps repeating and with his "pithy sayings" numbered and feared by his friends. Employment in personal advances allows a Gentleman to offer things he has not as yet offered. The old things, already given, should be fondly remembered and not repeatedly encountered. The scope of a Gentleman's possessions (intellectual and practical) can continually elevate that man's standing. As more territory comes into his realm and is ruled by his will he takes a higher state, with more noblesse oblige, and faces a philanthropy of himself at a potentially grander scale. The more you have as self-possession the better you can serve.

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