The Perfect Gentleman
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Student Life

The Perfect Gentleman

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Just the other day, I opened a door for an elderly woman walking into a restaurant. I was out with a few of my friends and truly thought nothing of it. However, she reacted with a gracious response, which I began to ponder. “Wow, thank you young man. You are such a gentleman.”
This retort from such a seemingly simple act that I had always seemed to perform throughout growing up, made me question my personality as a whole. I began to contemplate a rather easy question in my mind. What does it truly mean to be a gentlemen, and are there many of them out there anymore?

I asked a few of my friends involved in sororities and fraternities at Baylor to weigh in on the subject. I figured why not ask both guys and girls and see where each stands on the topic of the “ideal gentleman.” I began with a few of my brothers from my own fraternity to see what they thought. 

“A gentleman is someone who puts other’s needs in front of himself. A gentleman stereotypically puts a woman’s needs in front of himself,” Brady Latimer, sophomore, Phi Kappa Chi Fraternity. 

“A gentleman is someone who shows respect and class in all situations. Being a gentleman, I think, is more about one’s personality. It is more consistent, unlike chivalry which in my eyes is an act that is performed in one quick instant,” Jacob Abrey, sophomore, Phi Kappa Chi Fraternity. 

After hearing what these great, powerful men of God had to say, I decided to jump over to ask my girlfriend (a sorority girl) what she felt a gentleman was composed of. 

“A gentleman is somebody who respects girls at all times. He holds the door open, uses ‘yes ma’am’ and ‘yes sir,’ while putting the needs of others before himself,” Rachel Taylor, sophomore, Pi Beta Phi. 

After hearing this come from my girlfriend herself, I jotted down a few notes and made sure to keep them in the back of my mind. Here's some more of what Rachel had to say:

“My dad has always been a gentleman to me. He has always displayed noble character especially in the ways that he treats my mother. He taught me how to have high standards and how guys should treat me: open the car door for me, walk me to the front door and shake my dad’s hand firmly.” 

So, being a guy myself, I have tried to be a man of integrity. Of course, I have failed, many times over in fact. I would love to say I am the perfect example of what a guy should be, but even I know that is completely bogus. Even though I am a nice guy, that alone doesn’t make me a gentleman. This I have learned: A gentleman is exactly that — a “gentle” man. He shows kindness and compassion to those around him and he does whatever he can to help those in need of his help. 

To me, a gentleman is someone who resembles Jay Gatsby. Someone who cares more about others, like what Daisy wants, instead of being selfish and forcing her to stay with him. He also dresses very cleanly and knows how to talk to a woman with the utmost respect and class. Way to go, Jay Gatsby. 

Being a gentleman comes with experience. One is not simply born as a gentleman the title is earned, and as a man you have to want to obtain such a title. Obviously, men and woman view a gentleman in a similar light and believe that the traits he posses are ones that are regarded very highly.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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