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Learners: Do you know "noblesse oblige"? Options
TheParser
Posted: Saturday, December 24, 2016 10:40:13 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/2012
Posts: 4,668
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NOT A TEACHER


Dear Learners: Here is a nice French term that some English speakers find useful.

You will find many definitions. Many books tell us that "noblesse oblige" means (in plain English) that you should be very generous and kind to people who are NOT so fortunate as you are. That is to say, you could have more money or more intelligence or more social importance, etc. than the other person.

I found an anecdote that I think illustrates "noblesse oblige."

*****

1. Stanley Baldwin was a British prime minister in the 1920s and the 1930s.

2. His family also owned an ironworks plant across the street from his home.

3. One day an employee of his at the ironworks plant came to him with a personal problem.

a. He and his new wife had broken the bed while they were having romance.
b. Mr. Baldwin offered to fix the bed at the ironworks plant -- for free.
c. The man was afraid that his fellow workers would laugh at him if they discovered that he was the bed's owner.

4. So this is what Mr. Baldwin did.

a. When it was dark at night, the man's bed was brought into Mr. Baldwin's house by the back door.
b. In the morning, the bed was taken out of Mr. Baldwin's house by the front door.
c. It was taken across the street to Mr. Baldwin's ironworks plant.
d. The workers would think that the bed belonged to someone in Mr. Baldwin's family.


I THINK this is a nice example of "noblesse oblige."

Mr. Baldwin was an important person in society.
He felt that it was his moral duty to be very kind to one of his workers, who occupied a lower position in society.


Source: The Little, Brown Book of Anecdotes (1985)

Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Saturday, December 24, 2016 7:48:14 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 33,933
Neurons: 219,762
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
A good story which illustrates a good attitude which the best leaders have always followed.
Thank you (and Merry Christmas to you!)
Rosacrvx
Posted: Sunday, December 25, 2016 2:44:29 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 8/1/2014
Posts: 19
Neurons: 67,383
Location: Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
while they were having romance

I didn't know this one. Very amusing, thank you! :)
TheParser
Posted: Sunday, December 25, 2016 6:45:12 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/2012
Posts: 4,668
Neurons: 22,062
And Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you, DragOnspeaker.

Thank you, Rosacrvx, for your kind note. There are many ways to express an idea in English, so there was NO need for me to be vulgar or uncouth.
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