Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Class. Where has it gone?

In the field I work I see many, many people every day. Most of the people I encounter have poor credit, little money, and receive government assistance to survive. Occasionally, I see a person who stands out from the crowd. A person who has old-school class. Not necessarily dressed in suit and tie, but dressed respectably. Men and women (and whatever else a person identifies as) alike. Rarely do we see people well dressed and well spoken. Somewhere in our recent history we have gone from this:

to this:

What the hell happened? Granted, I live and work in a not-too-good area of the country and have rarely seen anyone dressed like the white guys in the above pictures. But the people we see in malls, around town, etc. are nowhere near as classy or well dressed as we used to dress as a society.

Even our speech has changed! No more do we speak in an eloquent fashion. No longer do we choose our words selectively. I am just as guilty in regard to my word selection. Rarely do I select the most appropriate word. I instead opting for the more common word more people recognize.

If you have never seen Dead Poets Society with Robin Williams, I implore you to do so. DPS is an excellent movie with a good message about the written word. One of my favorite lines from the movie is: “So avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose. Language was invented for one reason, boys - to woo women - and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do. It also won’t do in your essays.” ― N.H. Kleinbaum, Dead Poets Society

Perhaps a portion of our issues as a society would be resolved if we once again dressed and spoke with class. Perhaps not. But as a society we would be perceived far differently if we returned to dressing and speaking well. For example, when someone uses words like fleek, turnt, swerve, doe, etc. I am always taken aback. I am amazed we came to a point those words were not uncommon. Thankfully, I do not hear most of those words myself any longer. But when I heard those words I automatically assumed the ones speaking those words were unprofessional and uneducated. Wrongly perhaps, but that is and was my perception of the people using those slang words. Again, we as a society would be perceived in a better light should we no longer use those words.

I think the clothes a person wears and the way a person speaks tells the world a great deal about that person. Speaking and dressing in a professional and classy manner gives the impression that person is to be respected. Even if they are not. Dressing and speaking in a way other than professional or classy leads a person to believe the individual is common and most likely uneducated and deserves only the respect given to everyone. Like the old adage, dress for the job you want. In every day life you should continue to dress for the job you want and also dress how you wish to be perceived. If you do not believe me, dress differently the next time you go out to dinner. If you typically wear jeans and a t-shirt, wear a suit. If you typically wear a suit, wear jeans and a t-shirt. People will treat you differently. People will treat you how you dress and act.

At least in the home we can wear whatever we want and not be judged. Like these awesome TARDIS pajamas!

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