For centuries, a man’s principles and upbringing were always defined by how he dressed and conducted himself in society. These ideas spotlighted the mannerisms of the quintessential gentleman – brought to life by the virtues that were held by the fictional leading men of Austen and Brontë. A gentleman’s reputation has always been a paradigm of their overall cultivation. As time passes, this traditional perception has evolved and adapted to the world’s ways. But the stoic ideas and behaviour of being a gallant cavalier remained immovable despite the change, this later built the foundation of modern masculinity.
One of these modern-day men is Dr Sehaj Grewal. As one of Hollywood’s premier vets and animal welfare champions, Dr Grewal’s compassionate nature and drive led him to shine a light on causes that matter to him the most.
With this, we invited Dr Sehaj Grewal to sit down for the Gentleman’s Guide to Modern Masculinity and open the conversation on what it means to be a modern man in today’s world.
Dr Sehaj, Thank you so much for taking the time to be part of this new series we have for British Thoughts, The Gentleman’s Guide, where we start conversations about the new definition of masculinity for the changing times. And to begin, we would like to ask you for your personal opinion. What is a gentleman in this modern world?
Dr Grewal: A gentleman is skilled in their career or passionate about what they do in life. They are also understanding of the world and respect different perspectives. They give back to their communities through skill, work or tangible resources. They seek to attain more excellent knowledge and are willing to accept their shortcomings. They have etiquette when dealing with others and take pride in their appearance. They try to improve daily in all facets of life.
As a man who is always on the move with your practice and projects like The Underdog Community Project. How do you keep yourself centred and grounded by balancing work, personal relationships, and social events?
Dr Grewal: I think having a balance in life is crucial as it should not only be about vocation. In the morning, when I wake up, I exercise and have a healthy breakfast, which is important for my health. I go to work during the day. In the evening, I make time for family, and I like to take a trip out of town every so often. A combination of that helps me stay grounded and improve my mental health.
Can you describe your philosophy in life?
Dr Grewal: My philosophy in life is that nothing is perfect, and all you can do is the best you can in every situation that you come across, and it will only make you stronger. Moreover, life is short and refrain from indulging in any negativity.
Who are the three people that you look up to the most, and how have they influenced the way you conduct yourself?
Dr Grewal: I don’t have three people, but everybody I come across in life, whether transient or successful, can grasp some concept for them when it comes to living life. I learn from everyone that I come across. I am an amalgamation of different perspectives that have shaped me into who I am today.
In saying this, how would you describe the kind of man you are?
Dr Grewal: I take the extra step in anything I set my mind to do. I don’t do very well with failure, but I learn from it. I will go the extra mile for people I feel have my back. I take tremendous steps back against people who do not have my best interest. I have been very black-and-white in life, but I am slowly accepting that there is a large grey area where you don’t always have the answer.
If we were to talk about the stigmas that revolve around men’s health, which do you think needs to be highlighted the most?
Dr Grewal: When it comes to physical appearance, obesity is highly stigmatized in men’s health. There should be a greater awareness to help people attain their physical fitness goals by educating them on the dangers of obesity and helping them live healthier and longer lives.
What are your thoughts on healthy and toxic masculinity? Since this impacts today’s youth, How do you make yourself an excellent example for the younger ones around you?
Dr Grewal: Toxic masculinity affects society in general because it leads to the development of crime and negative perspectives of men and prevents organizations from going forward. I think toxic masculinity should be barred, and men should lead productive lives when it comes to their financial, physical, mental and emotional health. They should be grounded and be considered equal to everyone. They should care about people’s emotions and not be afraid to show emotions either.
Lastly, what are your two cents on making it work as a gentleman in this global community?
Dr Grewal: Always strive to have an impact and build a legacy no better, how big or small, in whatever endeavour you do. It’s significant to you if you feel people are influenced in a positive manner. Always keep your head down and keep fighting to be the best version of yourself
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