The Importance of Refinement
Refinement- qualities of manners, courtesy and gentility. There are some people who feel that these qualities are not terribly important. Why is Refinement important? Article adapted from Chapter 11 on All About Raising Children
Day after day, I tirelessly pursue a refined elegance.
Why is it important to establish how to be elegant, how to be classy?
What Exactly is Refinement?
Helen Andelin writes,
"Refinement is that polishing down of the human being, casting out the coarse and vulgar and retaining that which is fine and elegant."
This act of refinement is the same process of how diamonds are polished to gain tremendous brillance. In their raw form, they are not shiny at all.
Refinement consists of subduing the tendencies to slovenliness, crudeness, bluntness, nerviness and gaudiness. It encourages good manners, kindness, courteousness, considerateness, propriety and gentility.
The act of pursuing refinement is synonomous with learning how to be elegant and how to be classy. A refined woman is an elegant and classy woman.
Why is Refinement Important?
There are some people who feel elegance, refinement and having classy traits are not that important. I'll admit that sometimes I too, question its significance. It does appear superficial at times.
We all agree that what is inside your heart and in your brain that counts. To my great surprise, I've discovered and concluded that one cannot be truly elegant unless her insides (heart and mind) are refined and elegant first! You cannot be truly elegant without an elegant spirit and mind. That marks the pursuit of elegance.
Thus, by pursuing refinement and elegance, you are developing your character, heart and mind. And you'll also end up with a bunch of high quality skills. Your God-given talents will be honed. The pursuit of personal refinement is not superficial at all.
Refinement also helps a person of worth to be more fully recognized and appreciated. It elevates their social standing and confidence. A refined person gains considerable influence much more easily than a person with slovenly habits, despite being an awesome person.
When a person pursues and values her refinement, not only will she earn the approval of people around her, she will respect and appreciate herself. She increases her feelings of self-worth. She also increases her possibilities of marrying well i.e. gain a higher quality partner.
When a person is refined, she also increases her own chance of succeeding socially. Unfortunately often in life, we are given about thirty seconds to make a good impression. If we fail to make a favourable impression, most people won't stick around to find out if you have a heart of gold or not. If you would like to 'walk with dignity, mingle with kings and queens and be accepted in the finest circles of mankind', we have to invest into our training and education of the refinement process. By doing so, we'll begin to have some self-respect. We'll also gain an elegant personal confidence.
Refinement also builds morale.
When you encounter a person who is slovenly, careless, blunt or rude, it may seem that he or she is confident and does not care what one thinks. In actuality, he or she may be experiencing low morale and feel inferior. As elegant mothers, we can teach our children and ourselves the values of refinement. We make effort to learn how to speak correctly, how to think of others and be courteous and to engage in personal grooming to have a proper appearance.
This type of training, as rigid as it may be will produce fine ladies and gentlemen. If you find yourself wallowing in insecurity, the pursuit of elegance and refinement will help you feel equal to everyone else.
According to Mrs Andelin, this is why the armed services insist upon rooms being spick and span, men standing in line with clean uniforms ad polished shoes. They know that this type of refined living keeps the men's spirits high.
The Pursuit of Refinement
Refinement is a work in process. It is not inborn. It has to be learnt, hammered into and practiced constantly. I like to say that learning to be refined is simply a habit of getting better at being you.
Ladies and gentlemen are not born. They are made. If they are fortunate, they are made by persistent parents.
Mrs Andelin says that in the old South where gentility was a tradition, it was claimed that it took seven generations to make a lady. This determined effort towards refinement builds exquisite civilizations. Hmm, I certainly do not want to wait that long, that is why I built elegantwoman.org!
She also says that once a person becomes refined, it requires a constant effort to preserve this refinement. And that if we do not constantly strive toward propriety, we will slip back toward the uncivilized.
The pursuit of refinement makes you a better person. That equips you for a higher quality life which you deserve. You gain favour in the sight of people who do life with. You'll be better equiped as an elegant mother, a good wife who makes her husband proud.
I've always admired some elegant women and wish to be like them. Working on my refinement is a way of becoming the dream woman I hope to become.
See how you may cultivate refinement through Art appreciation.
Get a roadmap into personal refinement via my second book, Becoming a Woman of the Finest Class.
Go back to How to Be Classy.