The Ideal Gentleman

In the last two issues, we discussed about the ladies in Her Social Highness, now it’s the turn of the gentlemen (comments and counter comments are welcome)

‘Being male is a matter of birth. Being a man is a matter of age. But being a gentleman is a matter of choice’.

Despite all appearances to the contrary, there are still a handful of real gentleman within the society today. I say that assertively because I am privileged to have as friends and family, some members of this “endangered” group. However, in the good news also lies the bad news- a ‘handful’ of gentlemen. If this sounds far fetched to you, let’s define a real gentleman.
A gentleman is…now, this is hard. You know why? If we succeed in defining a gentleman this minute, we may have to modify it the next. And yes, technology has a lot to do with the matter! I’ll show you how. Let’s define a gentleman according to an old saying as, one who opens the door for a lady. This won’t work because there are now sensory doors that open without the touch of a button. So the above definition is invalid because one won’t be sure of who will open the door for a lady in the absence of such doors. I am of the opinion that a gentleman is more of what you recognise on sight than what you define in words. Let’s now see who a gentleman is not. A gentleman is not a power dresser- not necessarily. Rather, a power dresser is not a gentleman. I have said it before and I say again that I have nothing against high street fashion (I’m a fan myself, lol!)so long as it doesn’t attempt to take the place of manners because both can be mutually exclusive, as the case usually is these days. The sight of a well-dressed, multi-language speaking, state-of-the-art-gadget possessing young man doesn’t mean you have a gentleman, they are usually more active than that. As stated above, a gentleman is one on his own responsibility. It is a matter of choice. A distinguishing choice. The job of a gentleman is sometimes intellectually demanding and it is based on discretion. It’s the job of a real man.

A reason for the decline in the headcount of gentlemen could be the modern man’s obsessive preoccupation to make money at the expense of manners. The idea is ‘Make money, fake manners’. It is good to make money, it is better to make money plus manners. It’s time to reconsider if you are of the school of thought that money will buy you what manners should because it won’t, the same way beauty won’t buy you character. Just as the amount of money available determines the size/ quality/ value of a desired commodity, by the same token, manners dictate the returns on its investments. Even in a privileged position, one can’t dispense with manners in relating with subordinates. And ladies- it is especially in your relationship with them that a jury is created to acquit you a gentleman or otherwise. Once, while taking shade under a tree, I met a young man (for the first time) and we sat talking. Within minutes of talking with him, (I will like to imagine that it was due to the zeal with which he spoke),he started to tap me right in the middle of my thigh as if that will drive home his point any faster! I was perplexed!

If you are among those who stigmatise against other guys who display courtesy to the ladies, if you think money is the only worthwhile thing a man should have to be respected, if the best thing about you is your money, remember that thing they say, “Cheap things attract many buyers”. If you think money is expensive to come by (and therefore pride yourself that you have it), try manners! Any man- a thief, a drug pusher, agbero (local mafia) can dole out cash but only a real man can display couth. A gentleman is confident in other aspects of himself other than money (or cars and expensive gadgets) to make a good impression.
So, open the door for her, compliment her (tactfully), listen without interrupting, take the lead when the situation calls for it (like footing the bill, lol). Just man up.By all means, be a gentleman! Na gentleman dey reign o!


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