The Grave News on Getting Gravitas

Did you ever bump into someone who just reeked "gravitas." That special something, I don't know what it is, that says, "I'm in charge."

Now, I don't put much stock in "gravitas" or stature. I find the people who try the most to build it, will never have it. And so they desperately try to fake it. But it never works.

Which is probably why I ignored a viewer named Al.

Al caught up with me at one of my recent book signings. He claimed he was a big fan, but he told me he was worried.

"Neil," he said, "you're an author now."

Authors can't be reading nasty e-mail about their heads, or allow themselves the temptation to run Victoria's Secret video incessantly, or say things like "cool," or "wow," or brag about eating fast food.

"You're in the big leagues now," he told me. "I just wish you'd act like it. I'm just looking out for your image."

Again, he couldn't have been more agreeable. He just found my demeanor on air disagreeable. He said I smiled too much, joked too much, kidded myself and my guests too much.

He said that I needed gravitas and, clearly, I didn't have it.

Well, perhaps he's right.

If gravitas means you don't show emotion, I don't have gravitas.

If gravitas means you become distant, I don't have gravitas.

If it means you act aloof, or detached, refined, or erudite, then clearly, this Irish-Italian kid who got lucky in life doesn't have much gravitas in life.

But if gravitas means "heavy," well, that I've got. Plenty of heavy gravitas there.

He got me thinking: About what I am and, perhaps given the success of the book now, what I should be.

But then I started thinking about people in my book. I think they have a lot of gravitas. They just don't act like it. Sometimes, you don't have to.

But if a fast makeover means no more fast food, Al, “fuhgeddaboudit.”

And that's exactly the way I meant to say that: Fuhgeddaboudit!

Sorry, Al.

Watch Neil Cavuto weekdays at 4 p.m. ET on "Your World with Cavuto."