Writers with as different outlooks as Ayn Rand, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, or Somerset Maugham all agree on one thing – the value of work in establishing a man’s identity and value.
It used to be that a gentleman could be defined by the fact that he didn’t work; a gentleman was a man of leisure. Now, the opposite is true; not only does a gentleman work, whether he needs the money or not, but he can be defined by the type of work he does, and how he does it.
Being a gentleman is not a part time gig. Although the term was originally associated with the leisure classes, that is certainly no longer the case, as almost everyone, rich and poor, now works. (And, in fact, for the first time in history, the working rich work more hours than the working poor, although under vastly better conditions). Being a gentleman is what a man is – not a cloak that he wears part time, and then throws off when he enters the office. In fact, it is under the stress of having to earn a living and deal with the cold hard realities of business, that a man is really tested. If you can be a man of honor while making a good living, you might be a hero as well as a gentleman.