The gentleman's retort

We live in a world where war of words is rampant. It is no more an isolated incident to see men tearing at each other verbally. Gone are the days where quick wit was put to good use. Today, man uses the gift of the gab frequently for harmful ends.

Unpleasant sarcasm, rude references and unkind inferences are often smeared in daily conversations. The proclivity of hurling insults at others is seen as a sign of strength. And if one does not counter-attack such criticisms and negative feedbacks instantly and impulsively, it is construed as a mark of
meekness.

In such a scenario, sour and scornful words of any kind against a person is severely looked upon and dwelt with in no uncertain terms. Indeed, those defaming another unjustly need to be checked and rightly corrected.

Yet, the manner in which this is accomplished is a fine art and much care ought to be taken in dealing with denigration.
For, harsh reactions will lead to more unpleasantness and misgivings. Gentle retorts on the other hand result in the person unjustly slandering another to regret his action, restoring peace.

This ability to handle insults and abuses in an unruffled manner is perhaps the test of a real gentleman. When a man sees past irrelevant insults aimed at him and takes lightly on the unfair offenders he becomes a fine illustration of a true gentleman.

None in the history of the world is as popular as Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States of America, to exhibit this trait of a gentleman to endure insults in a generous spirit. True to his reputation of being one of the three best presidents of America, he often displayed much grace and poise towards those who would blemish his reputation.

As the newly elected president of America, he stood up for his first presidential address.
When he was about to begin, one of the aristocrats in the senate got up and said: “Mr President, you should not forget that your father used to make shoes for my family.” The whole senate laughed thinking that they had made a fool of Abraham Lincoln.

Yet, Lincoln with his usual humility looked at the man and retorted, “Sir, I know that my father used to make shoes for your family and many others here... He was an unmatched cobbler who put the heart into his work. I want to ask you, have you got any complaint? If you have any compliant I can make another pair of shoes because I too am a good cobbler.

But I know that nobody has ever complained about my father’s shoes and so I am proud of my father and my lineage!” The whole senate was
speechless.

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