A Gentleman

I’ve been thinking about my father a lot over the last few days, and I want to write about him.  But I’ve had a hard time coming up with a way to start.

And then I remembered what I’m about to share with you.

My father was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and was initiated into the chapter at Mississippi State.  Most fraternities and sororities have a creed of some sort.  I’d like to say that I remember mine verbatum, but I hate to lie, especially when it’ll be right here for the worldwide interweb and all five of you who are reading.  But I’m pretty sure that my Dad knew his because he lived it.

Friends, please meet my father.

The True Gentleman

The True Gentleman is the man whose conduct proceeds from good will and an acute sense of propriety, and whose self-control is equal to all emergencies; who does not make the poor man conscious of his poverty, the obscure man of his obscurity, or any man of his inferiority or deformity; who is himself humbled if necessity compels him to humble another; who does not flatter wealth, cringe before power, or boast of his own possessions or achievements; who speaks with frankness but always with sincerity and sympathy; whose deed follows his word; who thinks of the rights and feelings of others, rather than his own; and who appears well in any company, a man with whom honor is sacred and virtue safe.

—John Walter Wayland (Virginia Omicron Chapter 1899)

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tatersmama
    Jan 04, 2009 @ 14:45:49

    Hun, your father sounds like a wonderful man and I wish that I had had the pleasure of meeting him.

    I’m so glad that you have wonderful memories of him…

    You know what? I don’t have one single unpleasant memory of my father. Not one. I know what an incredible gift that is and it’s one of the things I’m most grateful for.

    One sweet thing about him was that he loved my friends simply because I did. I think y’all would’ve gotten along very well! 🙂


  2. Kelley
    Jan 04, 2009 @ 17:44:50

    I have many a friend who were in the SAE fraternity and it is true….they are gentlemen to the core!


  3. JLI
    Jan 04, 2009 @ 17:45:57

    Very eloquent. I hope he had many chances to mentor young men in his life. It sounds as though his legacy will live on in the hearts of many. You are quite blessed to have the chance to call him ‘Dad’.


  4. Angelena@Little Mountain House
    Jan 04, 2009 @ 18:15:53

    What a wonderful creed to live by!


  5. Meg @ Spicy Magnolia
    Jan 04, 2009 @ 22:10:27

    He sounds like such a special man, and I’m thankful you have priceless and precious memories of him. Tater Tot will one day enjoy reading these kinds of posts you write about him and hearing what a wonderful man he was. Thank you for sharing him with us!


  6. Burton Fletcher
    Jan 05, 2009 @ 15:57:38

    I have been an SAE since 1974 and it is true that The True Gentleman is our guiding light.

    Your father has now entered Chapter Eternal where he resides with a great many other Brothers of SAE.

    May he rest in peace, and may you rest with the pride that your father lived the life of a Hero Brother.

    Phi Alpha as our Brothers say to each other.

    Burton Fletcher


  7. Jesus Diaz of Greekster
    Jan 05, 2009 @ 19:28:43

    I agree completely with Kelley in that SAE men are true gentleman. May your father rest in peace and I’m sure he’s still looking over you and the family.


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