Elegance is authenticity. There’s distinct line in the sands of disposition. On one side, there are those who do their best to play a role for the sake of promoting themselves: the man who uses the “right” lines to satisfy his amorous ambitions, versus the romantic who’s sincere in his words and actions. It’s an overall approach that takes effort.
This isn’t to say a sense of being and behavior can’t be learned. It’s unfair to assume every graceful motion occurs naturally. We evolve into a better version of ourselves. In fact, when cultivating a reputation, some behaviors may very be affected at first. That’s entirely fine, so long as they’re done with sincerity. The difference being the desire to live an increasingly well rounded life versus chasing fleeting pleasures.
Refinement is an abstract sensibility that takes a certain amount of effort to become natural. Of course, there’s a person’s natural disposition; reserved versus loud, philosophical versus blunt; charming versus abrasive. Following this, true personal stylishness and grace take exposure, work, research and, most importantly, an innate humility. The desire to allow oneself to be at the mercy of guidance is crucial to growth. As one traverses the path of elegance there will, no doubt, be many instances where a less desirous turn is necessary. The elegant man appreciates the bumps and dips of that road, knowing that each adds value to his overall outlook on life.
A basic tenet of elegance is taking extra time, rather than traveling down the stress-free avenue. Therein lies one of the crucial differences in the argument for authenticity, time and effort. Real gracefulness and class takes time to cultivate; it can’t be faked. It can’t be dressed up for an evening; people will see through it. Those with it-and they’d hardly admit to having it-have earned their reputation over years of sustained patterns of behavior and appearance. It’s not instantaneous. It’s work that becomes second nature.
Kamau Hosten hails from Ocala, Florida and is the founder of The Ideal Pursuit, an online platform that celebrates better living. “Only through growth and evolution, experience and exposure, are we truly able to step out of our comfort zones.” Follow his journey on Instagram.