What is Class? Part II
In Part I of this series I discussed the concept of class. I determined that in my opinion, class was not directly linked to one’s amount of wealth, formal education, or pedigree or upbringing. Additionally, the number of friends or specific social circle does not entitle one to be defined as classy. Part II of this series attempts to define the elusive quality of class.
Definition of Class
So if one’s class is not directly related to one’s wealth, formal education, or pedigree, what is it then? In my opinion, class is really the respect one demonstrates to another, regardless of wealth, formal education, or upbringing. It is really how a person or group behave or handle, people or situations in their lives and the perception of others towards this behavior. Class is also maintaining a positive attitude throughout even the most trying of situations. Consider the following example.
A Practical Example
A sterling example of class may be viewed in the case of Drew Bledsoe. For the complete story please refer to the referenced blog, however I will provide a brief summary. Before those of you who are not sports fans or from New England decide to quite reading here, I must note that this is not meant to be sports oriented but just a relevant example. In short, during the 2001 football season, Drew Bledsoe was injured and had to cede to second string (at that time) quarterback Tom Brady. When Bledsoe recovered, Brady finished the remaining season with a Super Bowl victory and Bledsoe watching from the sidelines.
As an unwritten rule, Bledsoe was entitled to finish the season, and would have likely had his teammates backing. However, Bledsoe put his individual needs aside and conceded to the needs of the team. In addition, when Bledsoe left New England that same season, he took out a full page ad in two newspapers thanking fans for their support. So, let’s look at this a bit closer. What made Drew Bledsoe classy in this situation?
He put the needs of others ahead of his own, which is consistent with a service mentality. Drew Bledsoe demonstrated a tremendous amount of class by putting his needs aside for those of the team and fans. Lesser men, without as much class may have pushed to be put back into the first string lineup and may have been successful in doing so. However, Drew Bledsoe had made a conscious decision to behave selflessly and therefor exhibit a true example of class.
Drew Bledsoe had also demonstrated much class with his farewell message by means of several newspaper ads in New England. He could have shown bitterness for being sidelined during his team’s success, however even with his departure he had shown class, which was consistent with his overall behavior and individual brand. In closing, remember that class is not tied to wealth, education, pedigree, one’s social circle, but to the respect shown to one another. Individually and/or as a business treat others with respect and over time your brand will be recognized as a class act.
Class is a combination of respect towards others and maintaining a positive attitude throughout!
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