I was recently reassured that, as a person, I have value. That’s not something that I usually worry or am in doubt about. In my usual, humble way, I am normally pleased with who and what I am. That did not hold entirely true before my recent trip to visit BrainRants. Online, he seemed like a nice guy, but in person, he would be
A GENTLEMAN AND A SCHOLAR
AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN
Could I keep up? Would I fit in?
He has two university degrees, and a small string of subsequent educational certificates. He has more letters after his name than Noah Webster.
I have a Grade 12 education, and a few minor employment-related post-secondary courses. Of course, over the course of a lifetime almost twice his, I am a continuing scholar of the English language, communication, amateur psychology, and the human condition. Would that be enough?
He left the Army as an officer. While I have respect for people in uniforms – police, fire, ambulance, etc. –I am not necessarily impressed with just the fact that someone is an officer. Too often it merely indicates a slavish, unthinking addiction to rules and regulations, the established system, prevailing policy, and current convention.
He earns five times what the wife and I receive together, in our paltry retirement pensions. I’ve met some monied ‘gentlemen’ – business owners, and captains of industry. Some of them were nice. Others had homes where commoners mowed the lawn, not sat on the furniture. Would I be accepted?
I had concerns that I was travelling to meet a cultured, scholarly, conservative, socially-judgemental ‘Gentleman.’ I need not have been concerned. All my petty fretting and worry was for naught. The true mark of a gentleman is his ease with any company, in any situation. True gentleman that he is, he immediately and completely put me at ease. I kept up. I fit in. What I was, was accepted and enough.
We spent a glorious week, discussing a wide range of topics, unaffectedly bouncing erudite words off each other in normal conversation – and letting the other know that we’d noticed (Paucity – Ding! There’s another.)
He was the stereotypical common man, who just happened to have more formal education and income than me. He was the kind of guy that I might have been, without my learning disabilities. I will never doubt myself again! Thanx, Rants, for providing far more than just a great getaway vacation. 😀