A Gentleman, Are you?


Gentlemen, how do you do? Oh, don’t answer, I was just being courteous, you see. Whatever your state of mind, frankly, it doesn’t concern me! Just kidding! Don’t mind me. I have a soft corner for melodrama and love for all things silly. Coupled together, they are rather dangerous. Not for you. For me! People almost always mistake that for female chauvinism, if there’s something like that at all. Alas, I still can’t get over them.

Oops, I digressed. This isn’t about me. You are the star of this piece of writing. In fact, you’re the shining star.  Pardon me, if it appeared that I was taking some of the shine away. It wasn’t intentional. In any case, it isn’t possible for me to do so. Your shine, after all, is blindsiding. I, being but a silly mortal, stand in no competition to you.

Oh yeah, you got that right. I am in a semi-melodramatic mood today! You’re the star, I said earlier. Well, gentlemen, I was just fanning your ego. Star being euphemism for victim!

I have a question for you, dearest victims. I keep addressing you as gentleman. Are you one?

We’re surrounded by men, but not gentlemen. And trust me, there’s a huge difference.

What is a gentleman, you’d ask.

Initially, the term gentleman was used in reference to the lowest ranks of English gentry. Over the years it has come to be associated with courteous conduct. So yeah, a man whose conduct is above reproach in so far as courtesy goes is a gentleman. Sounds simple, does it? It’s not!

Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage ~Theodore Roosevelt

Courteous conduct, per se, is a wide term. What may be courteous to me may be over friendly to you. Some people may even call it showing off. Thus, Chivalry cannot in the strictest sense be confined to a definition. This creates a dilemma, I’d figure. How much is too much? How much is too less? Where exactly to draw the line? Why is chivalry important? Sadly, there’s no definite answer to any but the last question.

Chivalry is important, peeps. How a person behaves with another speaks a lot for his character, to my way of thinking. And we would, men and women alike, love to be creatures of admirable character! Would we not?

Personally, I have strong views on chivalry. Not that there’s anything I don’t have a view on, strong or not. What can I say but that I am just a little opinionated!

Coming to my opinion of chivalry, I’d say if there’s something called the in thing, I figure Chivalry ought to be in the top five. A chivalrous guy has an appeal unmatched by any other. His aura is magnetic . . . it just pulls you in, you know, like under his spell in a jiffy.

These days the right kind of chivalry is a rare thing.

By chivalry I don’t necessarily mean pulling chairs for a lady or opening doors for her. No, that’s just the icing, so to speak. Provided, you don’t do it as if it were a chore! Believe me, gentlemen, girls know it when you’re doing it for the heck of it.

Besides, anyone can pull a chair or open doors! That’s but a matter of practice. I know this guy who does all of that and I still won’t call him chivalrous, because his reasons for doing that are misplaced. He doesn’t do it because it’s a nice thing to do or the likes. Owing to his stature in life—which I’d rather not talk of here, suffice it to say that it has something to do with royalty—he believes it his duty to do that. Traditional roles and all that crap (Mind, I am not saying tradition is crap. It’s blind adherence of tradition without understanding the essence which I referred to as crap!) And this is not me being presumptuous; he’s cited those reasons himself! Thing is, he doesn’t do it out of respect. To my mind, no respect negates the actions.

Chivalry is an inner code, I’d say. You know like it should come from within. It’s a code of honor, of generosity, of loyalty, of integrity. You get what I mean, right?

I know a man who once saw a lady being accosted in the middle of the night, on a near deserted road by a man carrying a huge knife (in vernacular it’s called a khukri) and what he did may be called asinine by many. Without any thought he rushed to help her. He could have been killed. Yet, he chose to help. That’s chivalry.

Let’s face it. It’s a risk not everyone would take. And the one who does most assuredly commands respect. He is a gentleman!

He, who is fair and true . . . he, who upholds honors and loyalty . . . he, who is courteous and kind . . . He is a gentleman. That’s my take.

Are you a gentleman, I ask you once again. Think over it. And if the answer is not in the affirmative, well, it’s never too late.

PS: It’s disappointing to see the level of respect the sexes have for each other . . . negligible. I whole heartedly agree the lack of courtesy goes both ways, though here I focused on but one aspect. Perhaps one day, courtesy would be part of our social structure. Fingers crossed, is all I can say.


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