The Perfect Gentleman Issue 6 - Page 26

speak to guests or to those outside of a small circle. They lack the confidence that good manners bring. Knowing the rules of social interaction and being comfortable within them makes progressing in life so much easier. This doesn’t happen by accident. I know my godchildren’s parents have taken care to teach them how to act and I am sure this is the case with the young man I mentioned above. From their first moments children learn from those around them. Everything from how to act and behave to favourite foods is influenced by what they are exposed to regularly in the early years. Manners and thoughtfulness have nothing to do with social class or money. They are entirely about how one has been taught, or chooses, to behave. This isn’t formal etiquette or knowing which knife and fork to use for which course at dinner (Ruairidh will teach you that as well however), this is about taking care for those around you and choosing to make your presence beneficial. Not all of us are fortunate enough to be taught this however. Some have parents who 26 didn’t know it themselves or who never thought to pass manners on. Others had one or both parents absent and so never received those influential early lessons. All is not lost however. TPG Founder Zach shows just how much you can teach yourself if you put your mind to it. Many people avoid teaching or learning manners because they think it makes them weak or a push-over. This could not be further from the truth. We show our respect for ourselves in how we treat others. We don’t allow ourselves to be taken advantage of, but we do choose to act in a way that brings us satisfaction by choosing to be polite and thoughtful. As we at The Perfect Gentleman try to show, the way you act and the way you are perceived is a choice. Men of any age can learn to be Gentlemen and for some of our younger friends this may be the only option. We’re here to help with that of course, with the podcast, magazine and social media output but the impetus has to come from within. Decide to be better, work at it and you will be. Junior Gentleman