By: Deirdre Littlefield
I have been blessed with three sons who are naturally rough, tough and, honestly, quite crude. It has been my mission since birth to raise them with civility. We’ve taught them to hold doors for strangers, to stand up if an adult needs a seat, and to listen intently when somebody is speaking. We’ve worked so hard to instill in them a deep respect for young ladies and to serve those less fortunate. They were born with a natural sensitivity that grows with exercise, just the same as their muscles do. We give them regular opportunities to share, give, and listen. They love to be praised, noticed, and loved on. I enjoy conversing with each of them to hear their biggest dreams and even bigger fears. I believe all of these daily habits will help to create the future gentlemen our society so desperately needs.
These gentle traits do not seem to be honored as they once were. Vulgarity and gloating seem to have replaced intelligence and sincerity in many of our young men. Disrespect seems to be celebrated while self-promotion is glorified. Kindness is often treated as a weakness. I can only imagine how confusing it is for young boys who are taught these old-fashioned values at home. They must feel lonely at times, wondering why they’re not like the masses.
I will continue my quest, knowing that someday these traits will be valued. I will remind them that life doesn’t end in their teen years, in fact, it has not even really begun. I hope to help them navigate their feelings and will teach them to always hold themselves to the highest of standards. I look forward to the day I can watch my sons emulate their father as a real grown up gentleman and contribute to this world just by being a part of it.