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Knowing a Gentleman When You See One

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Older women seek gentleman while young women seek semi-thugs. However who can really spot a gentleman, anymore?

Today, we use the word 'gentleman' very casually, without understanding the depth in its meaning. Any audiences, large or small, are addressed by the terms ladies and gentlemen and in some cases, there’s not a lady or gentleman in the house. On looking at the real deep meaning of the word 'gentleman' we realize how carelessly we use it. The word 'gentleman' has evolved over a long time. The word is associated with esteemed values and principles that should be possessed by a man to be called a gentleman.

The connotation of the word 'gentleman' has changed over time. It once implied a man of good conduct, a man of virtue while it has become an everyday word of the present times. Some time back, I was in a grocery store in Los Angeles and witnessed two young men wearing sagging pants, spewing profanity, and extremely disorderly young men be asked by the store manager to please hold the noise down and cut out the profanity. The pair quieted down for a moment then eventually grabbed a woman’s purse and ran. The police were called. While the officers were collecting information, I overheard the store manager and the police officers refer to the suspects as gentlemen. However, the older female victim never used the word gentlemen, in fact, you might be offended by her proper choice of words. Nevertheless, the store manager told the cops, “They were Black gentlemen in their early to mid-twenties wearing blue bandanas on the heads.” The cop later asked, “Did you get the license plate number of the gentlemen’s car?”

Men, regardless of their behavior, want to be respected as gentlemen. But someone should tell these wanna-bees that being a gentleman is revealed in behavior, not his gender. Some people associate a gentleman with gentleness.

However, the real significance of the word is a man's characteristic of gentility. A gentleman is one who treats others, especially women with respect. It is he who bears great regard towards womanhood and society.

It is he who treats women honorably and never belittles her with insulting titles. A gentleman is characterized by his courtesy and concern for children, older people and especially towards women.

He gives ladies their due respect and acts with humility. It’s the decency in a man's behavior that characterizes him as a gentleman. Though he may, on rare occasion, use harsh language, he refrains in the earshot of women and children.

A gentleman is someone who does not take an undue advantage of his power or the weaknesses of those around him. He is a man who does not compel others to do anything against their wishes. A gentleman never offends others physically or mentally. He never inflicts pain. In a broader sense of the term, a gentleman is the one who cares for the people around him, helps them with their problems and strives to remove every obstacle that impedes their lives.

When the cops went to the parking lot to investigate further, they discovered that the men didn’t drive away but left on foot. As I walked, I overheard one of the policemen ask a witness, “Which way did the gentlemen run?”

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