I find myself having to regularly focus on maintaining good posture. It does not come naturally for me – I have to remain conscious of the need to sit and stand up straight. I could use the excuse that my physical height (I am 6’6″ tall) requires more effort to maintain good posture, but that is just an excuse. A Southern gentleman does not make excuses – he does what is right.
Aside from the physical benefits of good posture, the way you carry yourself says a lot about your demeanor and self-respect. Slouching gives the appearance of one who is ashamed of who he is and what he has done; good posture demonstrates the opposite. If we were speaking in Biblical terms, then we would all be crawling on the ground in our sinful shame, but we are talking here about our actions in the world. Standing erect and straight makes a man look confident, in control, and in command of the situation. When you first enter a room full of people, they make an instant first impression of you that will carry over into all dealings with you. Make that first impression a good one by consciously checking your posture and making sure you stand straight and tall.
As a Southern gentleman, you are an ambassador of The South. Once people know that you are a Southern gentleman – and they certainly should know that – their impression of you affects their impression of Southern culture and heritage. It is the duty of every Southern gentleman to do his best to make sure that impression is a good one. That is the goal of an ambassador.