Good morning, ladies and gentlemen!
There’s a reason that I address my students as ladies and gentlemen. I believe that there’s real power in words, and as an educator – and as a man – I feel a responsibility to impress upon young people that they are, in fact, more than boys and girls. They’re ladies. And they’re gentlemen. They deserve to be treated as such. And, more importantly, they owe it to themselves to act in a manner that commands that type of respect from their peers and everyone else. I think that as adults we often expect young people to carry themselves as ladies and as gentlemen, but we only address them as boys, girls, young men, and young women. Truth is, there are a lot of cognitive, emotional, and physical (at least) developments that have to happen in order to become a man or a woman. It’s not just a matter of age. But being a lady or a gentleman (in my opinion) has little if anything to do with age. It has to do with standards – standards that can and should be taught at an early age.
What does that have to do with me, here and now? As adults, I think we sometimes forget our responsibility in developing young people as ladies and gentlemen, particularly when they are not our own children. We also forget that it’s our responsibility to exemplify the characteristics that we expect young people to develop. We cannot command of others what we do not demand of ourselves. Be a lady or a gentleman in order that we (1) command the respect of a lady or gentleman at all times, and (2) those watching us will understand what it really means to do so.
Make it a GREAT day!