I attended a class where “What Makes People Tick” was explored and some ideas were tremendous. and so I won’t forget them, I pass them along. And, at one point, the person who, for want of a better word, has Class was discussed.
The one with Class never runs scared. He is confident in knowing that one can meet life head-on and handle anything that comes. The same set of circumstances can come to two people, and, while one will be crushed and beaten, the one with Class will take a deep breath, swallow, hold his head high and go on.
Jacob had Class, Esau didn’t. And, if we look symbolically at Jacob’s wrestling match with the angel, we realize that those with Class often wrestle with their own ‘angels’ and win victories that mark them positively for the rest of their lives.
People with Class don’t make excuses. They take their lumps, cut their losses, and learn from the experience. And as my friend Jake, used to say, “Don’t complain, don’t explain, for neither will do any good. Just square your shoulders and go on from where ever you landed”. Took me a long time to figure out how smart he was.
Those with Class are considerate of others. They know that good manners are nothing but a series of small sacrifices. A ‘thank you’ , or a ‘pardon or excuse me’ are all wonderful ‘oil’ for our complicated society and make for smooth, pleasant relationships.
Class reveals an ‘aristocracy’ that has nothing to do with ancestors or money. The most affluent person can be totally rude and inconsiderate, while generations of low-income people may show Class in every pore.
Don Blanding said it succinctly in his poem “Vagabond House” about his two beloved dogs. He wrote, “Both are thoroughbreds, right from the start. One by breeding, the other by heart.” He was speaking of Class and I shiver as I read the words.
One with Class never tries to build himself up by tearing others down. Class is always ‘up’ and does not need to try to look better by knocking others down.
As Kipling wrote, one with Class can “walk with kings and keep the common touch and talk with crowds and keep his virtue.” Everyone is comfortable with such a one because he is comfortable with himself.
I can’t help but think of Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady when FDR was President. Caught on camera, (no TV at that time), she was suddenly face to face with an official from a far Eastern nation, and there was no one to ‘do’ the introductions. She quite calmly said, “I don’t know how to address you, but I am so glad to meet you.” He smiled, told her what most people called him, and then the two of them conversed.
That was real Class, from both of them.
I saw, of course on TV, when a younger Queen Elizabeth showed her Class one day, when an overweight woman was presented to her. The woman began to make the traditional curtsy, but dropped down too far, and terror filled her face for it was obvious that the poor woman had reached the point of no return, and, on her own, didn’t have the power to get upright again.
But Queen Elizabeth, saw the sad predicament, and, without a change of expression, she put one foot backward, held out her arm and with both arm and body stiff as boards she actually levered and pulled the woman upright and balanced again. The Queen then went on to the next person without a pause. I shivered as my respect for her went straight up. That, let me tell you was real Class.
If you have that trait your whole life will be smoother. so let’s both take a class on “Class” development, beginning right now. I would welcome the company.