Proverbs are short sentences drawn from long experience.
Miguel de Cervantes
Here’s a rather interesting story I once heard about Hemingway. During a lunch date, which probably involved more than a few drinks, with several of friends, Hemingway proposed a bet. He bet the table ten dollars each that he can craft an entire story in six words. After the pot is set and collected, he grabs a napkin and scribbles down the six words. After passing it around the table, everyone agreed he had won the bet.
"For sale: baby shoes, never worn."
Why bring this up, other than as entertaining anecdote? Six words, nothing more, create an individual story within each person’s mind. We take the frame that was given to us, and fill in the blank space with our own perceptions and experiences. That’s what is so powerful about the story.
Quotes and Concepts work the same way.
As I discuss with several people what should be included in the book, they constantly question my unwillingness to make a set of rules to follow as a Gentleman. Sure, it would be easier for me, to set down a black and white code of behavior. And it would even be easier for many men to become Gentlemen if they only had a set of laws to follow.
But that would mean you would “Act” like a Gentleman and not “Become” a Gentleman.
I try to break down concepts in a generalized form, or if I do express specifics, I do them in relationship to a practical application. Every man’s cultural development is different, every man’s surroundings are different, and more importantly though, every man has a different reason to be a Gentleman. Assuming that a single cookie-cutter set of rules might apply to everyone is the easiest path to fail at what I am trying to achieve.
The idea behind Being Caballero is to provide you a simple frame where you can insert your own reasons to better yourself. There is no right way or wrong way to become a Gentleman, as long as you do so honestly, and for the right reasons. There are as many paths to become a Gentleman as there are men trying to be Gentlemen.