Sunday, 31 July 2011

Cardinal Newman on gentlemen.


It is almost a definition of a gentleman to say he is one who never inflicts pain. This description is both refined and, as far as it goes, accurate. He is mainly occupied in merely removing the obstacles which hinder the free and unembarrassed action of those about him; and he concurs with their movements rather than takes the initiative himself..

Very good, even sublime, definition. Someone said a gentleman is he who never intentionally inflicts pain, someone else he who never unintentionally inflicts pain. Hmm.

What is the way to avoid tactlessness? People say you should think before you speak. But if you do that and still give pain then it looks premeditated which is worse. The minefield social relations are for people who did not learn the lessons of life at school. By which I mean on the school playground where life is learnt or not learnt.

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