Classiness is not measured by success or wealth

By JAMES PHILLIPS,

Often classiness is believed to be related to one’s wealth, success, sophistication or overall status in life, or their lack thereof. During my walk-through life I have come to realize that classiness has nothing to do with someone’s standing in life and has everything to do with the selfless desire to make the world around you a better place. Rather than using one’s wealth, accomplishment and/or lineage to gauge their classiness, I suggest using their overall graciousness, politeness, respectfulness and thoughtfulness. In short, do their actions make them a positive person to everyone involved in their life and those strangers they merely encounter by chance. 

I’m in no way saying that a person cannot be successful, wealthy, sophisticated and classy all in one, or that you must be totally selfless in order to be classy. I am simply saying that classiness is not a birth right and cannot be purchased or won, it comes from within and is shown through acts of respect, manners and kindness that are not required, but greatly appreciated.

I ponder this and bring it up because during this past week I have been watching the 2018 FIFA World Cup Soccer Tournament taking place in Russia. And no, this article is not about soccer I assure you.

Once every four years the FIFA World Cup of Soccer is held and I happily pull myself from the regular television lineup of crime ridden semi-pornographic dramas, politically correct and propagandized sitcoms, scripted reality TV and outright vulgar comedies to watch the most popular sport in the world. Now here in America, we all know that real football rightfully reigns supreme, but around the world soccer is a universal language.

While in the world spotlight at the World Cup, the Japanese National Soccer Team and their dedicated fans put on display absolute acts of class that has garnered worldwide attention. They were eliminated from the tournament in the second round but they undoubtedly won the respect of many worldwide onlookers for their sportsmanship and classiness. Both the team, and the fans, used simple good manners that would have us locals saying, “they were brought up right.” 

After each match the Japanese fans would stay behind and clean up the area of the stadium where they sat during the match. They did not only clean up their immediate area, they went above-and-beyond and cleaned up a large area around where they had sat. Many people took notice of the fans good manners and it was even reported on during the early matches, but when the Japanese team was eliminated their final acts of class and sportsmanship brought this story to the spotlight.

After a heartbreaking loss in their final match the team left their locker room absolutely spotless when they departed. Most professional athletes, not all but most, have a strong feeling of entitlement that leads them to believe that they are too good to even worry with picking up their own trash and dirty uniforms, but not this team of national heroes. They were all class even in defeat. The team also left a note, written in Russian that simply read “Spasibo” which means “Thank you.”

Good manners should be second nature to all but have become so uncommon that when they are used the whole world takes notice. Classiness and respect cannot be bought and it’s not given because of who you are or what you have accomplished, it is earned through noble actions.

The Japanese National Soccer team, and their fans, are class acts and they have earned my respect as well as the respect of millions more worldwide. It’s amazing how simple acts of courtesy and respect can be so powerful. 

 

Contact James Phillips by email at jphillips@sctonline.net