No. 1109



It is my sincere belief that one of the best compliments we can ever have said to us, or about us, is that we are a real gentlemen or a real lady. This is something that I have taken seriously for a long time now. If there has ever been a time in our nation’s history when this subject should be on the front burner, it’s now.
Being a real gentlemen or a real lady involves many things but the basic motivation for this kind of behavior is respect. When we respect other people, as we all should, it is just easy and natural to want to show them good manners and a simple courtesy that every human being deserves.
While being a gentleman and a lady certainly involves good manners, it is much more than that. Having been in the “helping people business” for more than 45 years, I believe a good education on this subject, that is free, will pay larger dividends than a college degree.
A while back I ran across a fantastic book by Kay West titled, “How To Raise A Gentleman” that really has a lot to offer, based on what I have been saying. Kay also has a companion book titled “How to Raise a Lady” that presents the subject from a female point of view.
Near the front of the book are “26 Things to Remember” that I call “traits.” The regular use and application of these will pay huge dividends in our lives. As I share them, please ask yourself if you do them on a regular basis and whether or not you can recommend them to others.
1. Use “please,” thank you,” and “excuse me” always. 2. Wait your turn. 3. be generous with compliments and stingy with criticism. 4. Listen to your child when he speaks to you, even if you’ve heard it before. 5. Do not discipline your child in front of others. 6. Do not correct any child, other than your own, on his manners, and always do that privately. (Now this is not easy, especially when they are destroying your things, - my comment). 7. Be clear about what you expect. 8. be consistent.
9. Do not give in to temper tantrums. 10. Do not lose your temper. 11. Admit when you are wrong. Offer an apology when you owe one. 12. Let your child know when a discussion has become a decision. 13. Words can hurt. Do not hurl them about as weapons. 14. Respect your child’s privacy and boundaries. Knock first. 15. Do not impose your ideology, and respect those whose ideology differs from your own. 16. Agree to disagree.
17. Give credit where credit is due. 18. Hold the door. 19. Lend a hand. 20. Be a good sport. 21. Be a gracious loser and a generous winner. 22. Give more than you are asked. 23. Don’t take more than you need. 24. Leave a place cleaner than you found it. 25. Do not respond to rudeness with rudeness. 26. Winning is not the only thing, and nice guys do finish first.
Well, that is the end of the 26 traits, and the word trait means, “A distinguishing feature or quality of character.”
At the conclusion of these thoughts my mind traveled to the national scene and what is happening just now in our great country. A lot of what I see on television and read in the newspapers does not reflect the traits of a gentleman, or a lady. We have so many people who are bitter over the results of our last national election that it threatens to destroy the national fabric upon which our country was founded. When children act rude and obscene, where do you think they learn this behavior?
(Editor’s Note: THE DEAL OF THE CENTURY – Begin your day on a positive note – 365 days for $12. This will benefit the Bookcase for Every Child project. Go to to subscribe.)