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Be a Gentleman, or be a Jerk - Choose Wisely

On New Year’s Eve, Ryan Seacrest raised the bar for men everywhere.
At Times Square last week, huddled masses, one million strong, yearned to be warm. They rubbed glove-laden hands and stamped their feet in the 29-degree (wind chill in the teens) tundra of mid-town Manhattan.
As midnight approached, featured performer, Taylor Swift, shivered on the outdoor stage in a halter top, “I’m absolutely freezing, this is the wrong choice.” Ryan Seacrest took off his coat, detached his mic and transmitter, and draped his coat around Ms. Swift.
Admittedly the bar, that of being a gentleman, has lowered to the point where it is now easier to trip over it, than to go under it.
Gentlemanly behaviors should not be confined to men. I am not espousing a form of “benevolent sexism,” wherein women are a “weaker” gender needing protection. Rather, being a gentleman is an umbrella term for a code of conduct inclusive of respect and kindness, civility and generosity, equally appropriate for both sexes.

I believe that a gentleman…

  • Holds a door open, certainly for a woman.
  • Gives up his seat to those who need, or deserve it more than he.
  • Is respectful in word and deed.
  • Is on time; he understands that his time is not more valuable than that of others.
  • Is well groomed.
  • Shows patience.
  • Gets up when a woman sits or rises from a table.
  • Controls aggression.
  • Is a good listener.
A gentleman has a code. [More about about personal codes, “Resolution: Leave the Gun. Take the Cannoli.”]
A gentleman dresses well. [More about dressing well, “You Need a Signature Style.”]
(It's never too soon to get started)

Let us resolve to make 2015 the year to reestablish men as gentlemen.

Do you agree? Do you disagree? Do you have examples? Please share.
(c) David J. Katz - New York City - January 4, 2015

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