Wednesday, September 8, 2010
So today we're going to talk about "Natural Nobility", or as I like to say: "Being royalty without actually having a title." For those who are interested in this sort of thing, great! Keep on reading. If not? Well, please write to me and tell me what you do want to read about so I can get to it!
I was inspired by a lovely and inspiring post in Lord Nathaniel's blog Mild Relevancy. In this, he spoke of purple being the color of royalty, and then assuring us that he doesn't think so highly of himself to call himself royalty. I, being the ever-argumentative person that I am, decided to contest him on this, telling him that he has a good amount of nobility in him. Maybe not by blood, or by title, but by existing, by living life as he does.
Nathaniel is a great example of someone who is a "Natural Noble", someone who is gentle and kind, full of grace, even when he has plenty of reason not to be. His very life and state of being is an ideal that I think people should strive harder to reach. I'm not saying copy his every action and deed, because that would be creepy. No, I'm saying note what he does, why he does it.
You see, as I mentioned in Soul Calibur Psychology, Nat is fiercely loyal. He's never turned his back on me as a friend (even though I've deserved it once or twice), whenever I talk to him he's kindhearted and loving, no matter what's going on in his life. He's always been willing to help, and is always there as a friend, no matter what. This goes a long way in people's minds, you know.
Alright, my sappy ramblings aside (because goodness knows they WILL only get sappier.) I'm going to tell you this. No amount of etiquette books in the world, no amount of well-meaning tutorials by me... is going to make you a Natural Noble. It's just not going to happen. Not saying you can't learn, but unless you let your inside change with your outside... you will only be seen as a pretentious mask-wearer. And trust me, that isn't what you want. Natural Nobility is exactly that: Natural. If it doesn't feel right for you, don't do it, because you'll only cause yourself and others pain.
All the same, these are some of the traits of a Natural Noble.
Etiquette is always nice. I'm not saying you have to memorize what fork is for salad and which drink holds the champagne. That's fun to do, but it isn't the heart of where I'm getting at. I'm talking about saying "please" and "thank you". I'm talking about giving someone a firm handshake when you meet them, looking them in the eyes and smiling. I'm talking about being polite and treating people like they really ought to be treated. This has taken me far in life, and I've never heard of it not taking someone else far.
(Please note right now that being polite does not mean being a pushover. When someone is taking advantage of your kindness, firmly tell them to stop. You deserve much better than their rudeness.)
Kindness shouldn't even need to be mentioned. The Golden Rule applies here: "Treat thy neighbor as ye yourself wish to be treated." You've likely heard that phrase since you were four. That's because it is an important rule you need to learn young. Now that you're older, don't disregard it. What you learned in kindergarten still applies.
Grace. This is going to sound silly, but watch a Disney movie sometime. Notice how, no matter what happens, the princesses remain graceful? (Well... at least in the few Disney movies I've watched.) I'm not saying you have to live your life exactly like the princesses (goodness, that would be difficult, that and some of them are a little flat... more on that some other time.) But something to keep in mind, they keep their voices soft, their intentions pure (hopefully), and never really lose their "virtue", or the things that make them graceful, elegant, and whatnot. Even Cinderella was beautiful in her rags. The ball gown didn't suddenly make her pretty, she was pretty to begin with. Her kind nature was apparent even though her physical body didn't match it.
These things make up the soul, but what about the body? (For those of you who are interested in matching up, anyway.)
Hygene is important. No. Seriously. Not bathing for three weeks on end is gross. Not brushing your teeth is gross, and frankly, people are going to judge you on it. People have the instinctual reaction to think that if someone can't take care of themselves, then they can't take care of other things, aren't reliable, are gross, et cetera and so forth. Unfortunately, it's the world we live in. Make sure your teeth are brushed, your hair isn't in fifty gajillion knots, and all that good stuff.
Dress the part. I do this a little too often, seeing as my closet is halfway made up of ball gowns. No. I'm not saying that you should wear a ball gown to school. (Unless it's "Dress to Impress" day, but whatever.) For girls, maybe a nice blouse with a pretty skirt? It doesn't have to be fancy, just nice. For the gentlemen, what about a button-down shirt and dark slacks? Always a sharp look. Keep in mind that your clothes should always fit you, and be something you genuinely want to wear. If t-shirts and jeans are your thing, then go for it. I just wear my fancy-pants things because I like them. No sense in being uncomfortable.
Posture, keep your posture straight, not only is it better for your appearance, but also your health. Take it from a seventeen year old who has back and foot problems, you do not want these things in your life. Seriously. You. Do. Not. So save yourself now and fix your posture the best you can. (Besides that, it looks ten-trillion times better when you're not hunched over your soup-bowl.)
Speak softly, try not to use too many profanities (and in cases like school, the workplace, and other 'professional' settings, don't use any at all!) If you don't know how to speak without using expletives, then you simply so not know how to speak.
Learn advanced etiquette. Really, this is more for fun, and something I genuinely enjoy doing (even though I get things mixed up all the time.) If etiquette isn't your thing (and you don't do fine-dining every month like I do), then you don't have to learn it. So long you have basically good manners, I doubt anyone is going to harp at you. However, this cannot be stressed enough, if you are going to a proper high-class function and whatnot, it would do you very very well to learn the nuances of advanced etiquette. It's so easy to break an otherwise good reputation this way.
Laugh it off. If someone is trying to get at you, taking it personally, getting offended, and fighting back do not look good on your behalf. Just laugh it off, and then you can rant and rave to your friends about how offended you are at another time when the offensive party isn't around. (Always thank your friends for listening to you afterwards. We appreciate it.) Don't drag yourself to their level, it's hardly ever worth it.
I could go on and on about things, don't get too drunk, know what topics are appropriate at any given times, but really, Natural Nobility is something that takes a healthy dose of common sense. And if you don't know common sense, well... there's probably another blog that details it. At least I hope there is, because I can't help you here.
All the same, love you all, and hope you enjoyed reading this~