I heard of “Bereolaesque: The Contemporary Gentleman and Etiquette Book for the Urban Sophisticate” via Twitter. After following the author for a month or two, and enjoying most of what he was saying, I decided it was time to purchase his book and see what I could learn on the topic of modern manners and urban etiquette from this gent.
In a way, the book reminded me of another classic author – Dale Carnegie – author of two very well-known books: “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.” I’ve read the latter, and own a yet-to-be-read copy of the former. The similarities I saw were in the authors’ voices, their ease in addressing their readers. Each author too, was quite certain that if the readers followed their suggestions, that the readers could find much success in their chosen endeavors.
With this book, Mr. Bereoala II seeks to remind the young men of the current generation what a “real” gentleman is – the sort of manners and bearing he ought to possess, how he should treat others, how he should treat himself, and what sort of behavior defines a modern gentleman. The book is an easy read and while I may not take up every suggestion he makes, he DOES make a lot of good suggestions. In a culture that seems to become less civil with every passing day, it is GREAT to see someone set the standard for behavior high, with expectations that it be met.
I would suggest this to every teenage boy and every man under 30. Heck, I’m 39 and derived much enjoyment from it, so let’s change my suggestion. If you’re a man, and want to be a better man, read this.
As always, here’s some highlights that stood out to me:
“A true gentleman does not put up any type of front. You are who you are because you do what you say.”
“Remember that humility is a large part of being Bereoloaesque.”
“A gentleman operates off the basic philosophy of service – the offering up on oneself in order to benefit another is what being a gentleman is all about. Service is sexy!”
“As gentlemen, one of the most important things we can offer a woman is security.”
“A man never leaves his lady.”
“Remember that an apology is a statement, not a question.”
“If there is a single quality that indicates a well-mannered man, it is his ability to listen.”
“It is not sufficient to simply allow a speaker to finish their thoughts or ideas; a gentleman will encourage the speaker to do so.”
“Be tactful, but be truthful…realizing there is power in words.”
“Do not let discussions turn to arguments, and never tell someone that their opinion is wrong; tell them you disagree.” (my italics)
“…in order to develop style, you must embrace diversity.”
“the only thing separating a stranger from an associate is a ‘hello’.”
“In short, excellent manners do us no good if we throw them away under stress.”
What I also appreciate about this book, is that besides addressing how a gentleman should behave with other men and women, Bereola II also talks about how a gentleman should take care of himself – keeping tidy and well-groomed, eating properly and exercising regularly. Also very interesting, is that Bereola II makes time to emphasize the importance of financial responsibility – of paying your debts, of living within your means, and of the importance of savings. Really, there is a great deal of good information and reminders that most men could take away from this book.
As always, if you’d like to purchase this book, I encourage you to support your locally-owned bookstore, or to support this great locally-owned Milwaukee bookstore: Boswell Books.
I watched the wind that shapes clouds,
felt it on my cheek