“You know the meaning of the word “gentleman.” It means a gentle man–a man who does things gently, with love. That is the whole art and mystery of it.” – Henry Drummond
I once made a resolution to always accept a kind gesture. This is hard from someone who is prideful and who thrives on efficiencies. Not that chivalry isn’t efficient – it very well may be. But sometimes, when I’m getting off at the next metro stop it just doesn’t seem to make sense to take the seat that is offered me. Regardless, accepting and embracing these acts has changed the way I view kindness.
Let me give you a few examples.
- An 18-year-old I work with offered to carry a box I was holding (that wasn’t heavy in the slightest), with the words, “Can I please hold that?” I let him.
- A good friend and I walked turned on to a busy road and he silently switched places with me putting him on the street side shielding me from the traffic. I felt safer then.
- I was at a museum the other day wandering with a large group. I became friends with a gentleman who was quite a bit older than me. Throughout the exhibit, he waited stepped to the side to allow me to go before him, sometimes gently guiding me ahead. His kindness was contagious and I felt to do the same.
- A senior executive at work stopped me in the all and said sincerely, “how are things going?” I felt like he really wanted to know.
- A new friend and I started talking as we walked home from church together. Seemingly caught up in our conversation, we passed his house and he walked me to my door. I knew he valued our conversation.
- My brother went to a movie with me and bought me dinner. He could have taken a dozen girls. I felt love from my brother.
- During a work meeting a colleague attentively listened and held eye contact throughout my presentation. I felt encouraged and confident because of his actions.
- A friend quietly began doing dishes after a small gathering at my house and insisted that he continue. I felt gratitude from him.
I salute all you gentlemen, all of you real men. Because of you, I long to show love to those around me. After all, real men do things gently, with real love.