The Civil Gentleman
A Code of Ethics for the Modern Man
When a man fails to uphold the tenets of his own conscience, he not only hurts others, but he also hurts himself. This guidance helps him to refine his conscience in the modern context and to find a way of redemption and renewed hope to successfully maintain the path of righteousness according to his conscience.
The Civil Gentleman is a concept and path to improve civility between men and women around the world. It provides a way for each man, from youth to adulthood, to examine his role in civilizing his home and intimate relations.
The modern man is often disenchanted with traditional institutions and laws that fail to address the day-to-day life we live today. The platitudes and commandments we have inherited often are too general to be applied to real decisions.
New technologies, science, medicine and changes in traditions often clash with institutional guidance and force the man of good intentions to look for answers in new directions. The concept of The Civil Gentleman does not require or exclude the acceptance of any dogmatic tradition, religion or political persuasion. It is nonpartisan, nonsectarian and non-institutional. The basic premises of this concept are human nature and universal human rights as identified by consensus of leading organizations around the world.
The Civil Gentleman challenges each man to make decisions regarding pledges he can either undertake or pass over according to his conscience. He is also encouraged to create his own pledges that relate more directly to his own life experiences. A discipline of weekly and annual reviews of his pledges is suggested to evaluate how he fares in upholding his commitments. The complete text of The Civil Gentleman message can be viewed at www.2givenow.org/civil_gentleman.htm.
Students and teachers alike may find value in this approach to improving the human experience where it counts the most: in the family and in intimate relations. For educators, this may be a valuable tool for lessons in civil behavior, health, ethics and sex education.
The Civil Gentleman approaches ethical issues from the belief that motivation and self-discipline are more effective than punitive laws and institutions of justice that attempt to correct problems after the damage is already done.
Many of the behaviors we undertake in intimate relations cannot be effectively controlled by either laws, morals or commandments. Unless the gentleman voluntarily chooses to lead a civil life, the society will never be completely civilized. Civilization is a discipline that cannot be imposed: It can only be undertaken by a free man or woman who is willing to courageously accept the quest of this kinder way of life.
In addition to a powerful motivational message that covers the topics of natural motivation, redemption, forgiveness, alternatives to violence, and other topics, thirty pledges are presented as challenges for men to undertake or reject according to their consciences.
The pledges are divided into sections entitled "Respect for Women", "Respect for Children", and "Social Participation". They cover many ethical issues such as physical and emotional abuse, use of intoxicating substances, prostitution, slavery, bullying, pornography, gangs, child abuse, organized violence, and other topics. The suggested discipline of writing and personalizing each pledge that is actually chosen and reviewing the pledges on a weekly and annual basis takes the practice of pledging to a new dimension of real life changes.
Many students are looking for answers about the conflicts between their own perspectives and those of their parents, school regulations, traditional religions, popular trends, popular drugs, alternative social groups, gangs, and issues that result from modern technology. The Civil Gentleman provides a fresh view of these issues, not from traditional dogma, but from the viewpoint of current human rights organizations around the world. The Civil Gentleman does not impose pledges, but it challenges each man to evaluate individual pledges according to his conscience and either undertake the pledge or pass over it .
Many teachers who need to present social science topics, sex education, health education and ethics are perplexed by potential conflicts between the separation of church and state. The Civil Gentleman can be used as an educational tool that is not based on any religious dogma, political persuasion or institutional support. It is a document that asks many questions of relevance to young men and women and also suggests a standard of behavior based on pledges. The decision to accept or reject each pledge is left to the private judgment of each student. The Civil Gentleman article discourages the public declaration of pledges because such practices only nominally motivate each person to sincerely commit to each pledge. In the classroom, the suggested presentation is an open discussion of the values, practicality and ethical issues related to each pledge.
The Civil Gentleman provides a number of guidelines for parents within the motivational text and the pledges. The pledges include the need to refrain from violent or sexual abuse of children, as well as the importance of educating children about how to protect themselves from abuse and the need to refrain from bullying or abusing other children. Parents are also expected to behave as role models for a kinder way of living.
See the complete text of The Civil Gentleman here: www.2givenow.org/civil_gentleman.htm.
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