Our world today is very different from the world that existed 100 years ago, and I have begun to wonder how different is it? I am not talking about how technology and science have improved, I mean that human behavior has changed dramatically. Although, technology and science have had an impact on our behavior. Human minds are changing, and whether that is good or bad, that is up to those reading this to decide. I am no psychologist, but that doesn’t mean I can’t see the change in human behavior, I have even seen change in myself.
To begin, I want to note that I am not being sexist in any way, I am simply making observations. In the 19th and early 20th century the best thing that most men wanted to accomplish (that was not career related) was to be considered a gentlemen by society’s standards. If you lived in the west, it was a gentle cowboy, in the east, a sophisticated entrepreneur. But no matter where you lived, it was proper for a gentleman to: hold doors open for women; pay them compliments; stay faithful to one’s significant other; respect women, elders, and figures of authority; and always do what’s right. Right? But what is considered gentleman-like behavior? And what is considered “right” for men now? According to Google a gentleman can be defined as someone who is a “chivalrous, courteous, or honorable man,” or “a man of good social position, especially one of wealth and leisure” (this could very well be referring to English gentlemen, which is a noble title rather than a casual title or a compliment). While these are good definitions, they don’t help answer my other question. What is considered “right” for men now? Because men today are not like they used to be.
Just the other day, while walking into a grocery store and saw a young man, probably in his late 20’s, hold the door open for an older gentleman and I (I feel the right to call him this because of his age and his response to the younger man holding the door). The older man said something along the lines of “there are few men in this country who will hold a door open for other people, the gentlemen are beginning to go extinct.” This man was right, although I would have said “beginning to disappear.” If gentlemen go extinct they will be gone forever, I believe that society can be re-taught. Now obviously gentlemen aren’t gone, I am not saying that they don’t exist in the younger generations anymore, but their numbers are dwindling, and they are losing some of their value. Yes, this young man held the door open for this old man, but who’s to say he is chivalrous, or is faithful to his spouse? He may have some gentlemen like values, but I do not believe that he has as many as the original gentlemen had.
Okay, I took a stab at the men, now it’s the ladies turn. During the same time that gentlemen were populous, ladies were teeming. I bet you girls were reading this and nodding your head, thinking something like “she might be onto something” or maybe you’re thinking “what is she talking about? My husband/boyfriend/friend is a perfect gentlemen” And he may very well be a perfect gentlemen by your standards, and that is just fine. However ladies, we have some faults of our own. Now I must point this out now, because I feel it is the most prominent example! Ladies were modest. They would wear dresses that covered the knees, shoulders, and never showed as much cleavage as dresses and shirts do now. Now girls short shorts (am I the only one who noticed that they are so short we had to say short twice when naming them?), and breast flaunting camisoles. This is what I find most disgusting, more disgusting than the lack of chivalry. Times have changed for the gentlemen just like they have for the ladies. And style certainly isn’t the same, but girls, is it really that hard to find capris and a t-shirt. You may not find modest clothing that “complimentary” but I believe gentlemen are attracted to ladies, and boys are attracted to girls. So if you want a gentleman, be a lady. But yet again, we are probably wondering how do you define a lady. Well you could define as again google defines them “a courteous, decorous, or genteel woman.” or as “a woman of superior social position, especially one of noble birth.” This also an english use as a formal title.
The human mind is changing a lot, but I believe we can make ourselves into gentlemen and ladies again, if we have the will. However no one can force us. So I reach out to those of you who may have stumbled across this and I ask that you take what you can from my letter, and try and become a lady or a gentleman. Boys, if this means you hold the door open for that old man, or girls you buy capris and t-shirt, try to be a person that others will marvel at.
Your Gentle Attendant,