I grew up liking the early James Bond movies. There was one thing I took away from them that remains with me to this day and that I've passed on to any students I've had in martial arts, and to my kids.
Be cool. And don't just act cool, but be cool. You either are or you aren't, but you can't fake it or force it. And, even if you can, don't.
Always be a gentle-man (person? I have a daughter you know). That is, have class. And at all times if possible. My son once asked: "What about if someone is trying to kill you?"
Well, do your best. But be cool, have class. And remember, dummy, movies, are just that, movies, fiction. Don't live your life by them in a way to be cool. Too often they don't show being cool. They show power, in violent actions, whether physical or emotional.
Although some of my attitude in fighting came from Aikido (Japanese), some of it comes from my younger days in Isshinryu Karate (Okinawan). Point in case, a street fight years ago. I threw the guy backward to the ground and he was going to hit his head on the concrete so I grabbed him to slow his fall which shocked and surprised the guy. He asked why I did that. I said, "you were going to the hospital if I didn't, if you were lucky." He said, "thanks", and that ended the fight. So, even if someone is trying to kill you, you can have class in seeking his demise (death). If you do save your life and end another's, you can always make them comfortable in their last moments, if at all possible.
This goes into capital punishment even. In killing a person, we are not and should not seek revenge on them, but simply end their life. Giving them compassion, perhaps in a way they never gave to their own victims, really means we are expressing our own compassion, not showing them compassion, that is merely a by product of our actions. We would have decided this person needs no longer live, as he won't stop the undesired behavior, and therefore we end the possibility of his (or her) ever repeating their destructive actions upon society again.
I don't see a real reason for giving life sentences, either.
So getting back to the point, having class, is typically showing compassion in some way. And, when you ever break from that, it can appear even more intense than not. This is like showing a happy scene just before a sad scene in a movie. Although you shouldn't LIVE your life by movies, you can gleam interesting concepts from them; screenwriters do frequently try to send out a message, hopefully a positive one, useful in life.
Class is positive. Lack of class isn't neutral, its negative. Positive attracts. Some people think its "cool" to attract by negativity. It is good there are places for people like that, so they can be with their own, but they frequently add to society's costs of maintenance and security, as these tend to be the people that are the criminals in a society, be it blue collar or white collar. The drug dealer, the gang member, the Enron exec, etc
Well, that's about it. a not well put together set of thoughts, but something to chew on. I figure, you'll either agree somewhat or you will be angry with me, in which case, you are one of the negative ones. So sorry. Hang in there, some life changing event may yet turn you around. :)
Have some class.