The following is from a paper I found when going through a folder in my desk. I think it was in an old issue of The Wall Street Journal (1980’s or 1990’s), but I’m not certain. It is one of those things that I feel compelled to save when I stumble across it.

Class never runs scared. It is surefooted and confident. It can handle whatever comes along.

Class has a sense of humor. It knows that a good laugh is the best lubricant for oiling the machinery of human relations.

Class never makes excuses. It takes its lumps and learns from past mistakes. Class knows that good manners are nothing more than a series of petty sacrifices.

Class bespeaks an aristocracy that has nothing to do with money. Some extremely wealthy people have no class at all while others who are struggling to make ends meet are loaded with it.

Class is real. You can’t fake it.

The person with class makes everyone feel comfortable because he is comfortable with himself.

If you have class you’ve got it made. If you don’t have class, no matter what else you have, it doesn’t make any difference.

source and author unknown

About Stephen Clay McGehee

Born-Again Christian, Grandfather, husband, business owner, Southerner, aspiring Southern Gentleman. Publisher of The Confederate Colonel and The Southern Agrarian blogs. President/Owner of Adjutant Workshop, Inc., Vice President - Gather The Fragments Bible Mission, Inc. (Sierra Leone, West Africa), Webmaster - Military Order of The Stars and Bars, Kentucky Colonel.
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4 Responses to Class

  1. I was reading about the Southern ladies during the time of the blockade on the South, in the war. They were ever conscious of the class they portrayed, even when their clothes got extremely thin and were patched so much that the patches met together. Still, in all that, they were determined to look up and talk up and carry on as though they were living a normal life. When the clothing got very faded, they dyed it, and when the seams got thin, they took old lace and dyed it a darker colour and sewed it over the seam areas. They still fixed their hair and tried to act in a dignified manner. Somehow, the modern woman has lost a sense of dignity in her manner of dressing. We. all of us, are afraid of a couple of things. Firstly, we do not want anyone to think we are “conceited,” if we try to have a little class in the way we dress and the manners we have. It is a fear prompted by social self-consciousness. The other fear is that of seeming to be too rooted in the past. I have seen perfectly classy girls changed by that kind of self-consciousness, as they seek to cater to the whims of others that disdain such a concept. I think we should only cater to Christ.

  2. Here is the link to the Godey’s Lady’s Book with the article written by a Southern about the state of clothing during the blockade. I noticed in the next to last paragraph a Scots phrase she inserted, which was commonly understood by her people. I thought to myself while reading her Gaelic quotes and her references to classic authors, “That’s real class.”

  3. And, I though that the British rep. for BP had a lot of class when questioned so sarcastically and severely by the senator during the hearing. It is something to analyze and learn from. If you could find the shameful discussion on you tube, it would perhaps be a great thing to discuss with children, in teaching them manners. I thought the questioner had no class at all…pushy, unreasonable, powerful, but not as classy as the Brit. Too bad we cannot have someone like him for President.

  4. Fascinating information. Reading about how others handle adversity gives a real insight into the character of the people. I remember listening to my Grandmother tell about being trapped in a Russian-occupied part of Europe, and how they were slowly starved into submission – and how they coped with it. I wish I could remember more of her words spoken in her heavily accented voice.

    Our elected leaders often serve as an excellent example of what a total lack of class looks like when combined with power. The results aren’t pretty. I didn’t see the video you are referring to, but I have seen enough of the petty grand-standing of politicians who are always trying for a sound bite that will show how tough they are on the current “bad guy of the week”. This week’s bad guy is BP.

    While it is the duty of an elected leader to investigate problems like the oil spill, and sometimes that requires some very uncomfortable questioning, it CAN be done with class and as a Gentleman. Here is Robert E. Lee’s Definition of a Gentleman. It describes how not to abuse power – something our politicians have little regard for.

    “The forbearing use of power does not only form a touchstone, but the manner in which an individual enjoys certain advantages over others is a test of a true gentleman. The power which the strong have over the weak, the employer over the employed, the educated over the unlettered, the experienced over the confiding, even the clever over the silly — the forbearing or inoffensive use of all this power or authority, or a total abstinence from it when the case admits it, will show the gentleman in a plain light. The gentleman does not needlessly and unnecessarily remind an offender of a wrong he may have committed against him. He cannot only forgive, he can forget; and he strives for that nobleness of self and mildness of character which impart sufficient strength to let the past be but the past. A true man of honor feels humbled himself when he cannot help humbling others.”

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