The Standard #41

wordsThe distinguished gentleman fully recognizes the weight and gravity of verbal communication. He thoroughly understands that his words should be well-formed and well-thought before delivering them to an audience. Tone is absolutely paramount. Be not mistaken, the incorrect tone may very well increase the probability of his words being dismissed and/or misconstrued. And a harsh, abrasive tone could certainly lead to a combative environment that renders a conversation unproductive and moot. The well-spoken gentleman utilizes the power of eloquence, understanding, and persuasion to communicate effectively with an individual or group of individuals. Productive communication requires both listening and speaking; so devoting the required, concentrated attention to someone’s words is utterly important before forming your own statement. The articulate gentleman abstains from communication steeped in inflammatory rhetoric wrought with condescension and arrogance. It may be easy to deem as insignificant or forget, but trust that words carry deep meaning, and said words have the undeniable power to evoke an emotional response. Because, as words gradually dissipate from memory, what is left is that indelible mark of emotion etched into someone’s feelings, and that could either positive or negative. The choice is your own – choose your words wisely.

The Standard #40

chivalrySurely, you may be familiar with the expression chivalry is dead, and furthermore, you may be familiar with the alleged reason for its demise – feminism. However, that reasoning is problematic. Quite honestly, I have the belief that this thought process is a falsehood, an excuse born out of a convenient resignation of general good manners and civility. Or perhaps it is a direct result of an unfortunate encounter with a woman that resulted in an erosion in trust and abandonment of goodwill. Nevertheless, a true gentleman recognizes that one needs not adhere to unrealistic, antiquated expectations and traditions. A true gentleman recognizes that the only standard required of a gentleman is courtesy, helpfulness, politeness, and basic human decency. Chivalry is not dead if you reject negative influences that trumpet its passing; its practice is sorely needed to foster kind, supportive engagement for both men and women. It is a practice that should be upheld and acted upon by all.

The Standard #29

MountainHumility. The act of possessing a modest opinion of one’s importance, understanding the complex context of life, and respecting the reality that other individuals may be better at some things than you. Gentlemen, please don’t be mislead by the boisterous musings of silly folk; so enamored by their own greatness that they cannot recognize their own shortcomings. Sometimes a man must recognize his faults and limitations. There is no shame in that. One must understand that embracing humility does not make a gentleman weak, actually, humility strengthens you. It keeps you grounded. It keeps you focused – on the important things in life.

It is brazen arrogance that renders a gentleman vulnerable. Trust this: Keep living and life will eventually happen to you. And life can be the greatest administrator of humility. Recognize your position in life, and even if your station ranks well above others, discipline yourself in humility, as the folly of vanity can ultimately become your undoing. You don’t want to discover this bit of wisdom the hard way, but I am sure that you won’t. Maintain the standard my friends; catch you later.

The Standard #39

CloudsSometimes success cannot be realized without the presence of adversity and hardship. To summon a gentleman’s absolute best, on occasion, his goals must be subjected to strain and threatened with the possibility of failure. Confronted with the reality of such disappointment, burdened with seemingly perpetual stress, a gentleman must call upon his courage to persevere and transform his aspirations into an actuality. To secure his accomplishments, the successful gentleman is fully cognizant of the sacrifice, discipline, and resilience required to obtain his goals. He understands that setbacks are not to be considered failures, rather they serve as moment of educational reflection to reevaluate his methodology and proceed with meeting his objectives accordingly. On his way to success, undoubtedly there will be struggle, doubt, and fear. However, his will to succeed, to bring about the best he has offer, far outweighs the specter of defeat.

The Standard #31

MountainIt is wise for a gentleman to avoid an ascension that strays him amongst mountains of hubris; an ascension that betrays his remembrance of the ever distant valleys beneath his feet. Gentlemen, be not thoughtlessly mistaken, your climb towards success does not preclude the possibility of an agonizing fall. Depending upon the heights that one rises, arrogance may silently corrupt your character, and thus the descent could be resolutely sharp, steep and abrupt. This is not say that a gentleman should not achieve or strive for the greatest heights of success or prosperity. To be certain, a gentleman can certainly ride amongst the highest clouds of accomplishment, and yet remain grounded in modesty and humility. It is the appreciation of the valleys that makes the view from above that much more beautiful. It is the appreciation of the valleys that assuage any fear of falling. Because, if a gentleman so finds himself in the midst of a certain plunge, his spirit is steeled with the knowledge that he will rise again. Conversely, a successful gentleman may never experience any affecting gravity upon his achievements. Nonetheless, the underlying message is steeped in consistency, never lose sight of your origins and appreciate the valleys of one’s life that have transformed into triumph. And if you are not there yet, don’t worry, you will be. See you at the top.

The Standard #38

Mountain

Burdened with life’s offering of challenges and adversity, a wise gentleman understands that his resolve and fortitude will be subjected to an indiscriminate, unrelenting pressure. Trialed and tested, a wise gentleman also understands that a continuous cascade of adverse circumstances can simultaneously harden and weaken his spirit. Deprived of the necessary mental strength and stamina to endure life’s difficult moments; he slowly becomes steeled with cynicism, pessimism, and anger. The overwhelming urge to yield under the constant strain of life is a viable option that offers welcome relief; relief from an existence constructed of weariness and tumult.

However, this gentleman is empowered with the knowledge that he is not the sole proprietor of stress and pain. And comforted with said knowledge, he comprehends that a support network exists that only needs accessing. Sometimes comfort arrives in the form of a compassionate, welcome listener and alternate perspective. And hopefully, this combination offers positive clarity that refreshes a gentleman’s mental faculties. Please, understand, you are never alone in your troubles; one only needs to reach out and seek positive counsel. Trust, someone is experiencing or has experienced what you are enduring. They are awaiting your call. Don’t delay your call for help.

 

The Standard #30

respectA man who fails to meet or exceed the level of expectation that he smugly demands of others should abstain from such demands in the first place. Intoxicated by grandiose delusions of false importance, said individual will never earn a modicum of respect from his peers, as he will be viewed as a fraud lacking substance and depth. Effective leadership does not consist of hollow rhetoric and anemic work ethic. Effective leadership does not belittle or ignore other viewpoints. An acolyte of arrogance, a practitioner of presumption and pretentiousness – please expect the absence of any deference from other individuals. You will duly receive what you give. A gentleman shall be judged by his deeds and examples. Ensure that you uphold the same standard you will hold others accountable for. Otherwise, a gentleman will never be an owner of credibility. Own your standard. Reinforce your credibility. Rightfully earn the respect from your peers.

The Standard #29

MountainHumility. The act of possessing a modest opinion of one’s importance, understanding the complex context of life, and respecting the reality that other individuals may be better at some things than you. Gentlemen, please don’t be mislead by the boisterous musings of silly folk; so enamored by their own greatness that they cannot recognize their own shortcomings. Sometimes a man must recognize his faults and limitations. There is no shame in that. One must understand that embracing humility does not make a gentleman weak, actually, humility strengthens you. It keeps you grounded. It keeps you focused – on the important things in life.

It is brazen arrogance that renders a gentleman vulnerable. Trust this: Keep living and life will eventually happen to you. And life can be the greatest administrator of humility. Recognize your position in life, and even if your station ranks well above others, discipline yourself in humility, as the folly of vanity can ultimately become your undoing. You don’t want to discover this bit of wisdom the hard way, but I am sure that you won’t. Maintain the standard my friends; catch you later.

The Standard #15

jobsThe following is a gentleman’s public service announcement: An intelligent gentleman understands and appreciates the delicate nature of a recovering job market. Certainly, the employment forecast is becoming brighter, but an astute gentleman demonstrates due diligence during his job search. Never stagnant, he works tirelessly to improve his chances of landing his job of choice. And once the moment arrives when a gentleman is standing before a potential employer, he fully realizes what his primary role is at that time-salesperson. He is a salesperson and the product that he is selling is himself. He soundly demonstrates that his experience and expertise are viable commodities that a future employer wants…no…needs at their company. His career goals are perfectly aligned with the company’s mission and vision. He is supremely confident, yet humble. He superbly demonstrates the ability to work independently, but he is a team player. He clearly shows the drive to continually improve himself and become a valuable asset to the company. By the time his pitch is done, the job is his. No questions about it!

The Standard #18

Jesse OwensFirmly standing upright under an unrelenting, blistering storm of vitriolic contempt and caustic distrust, the successful gentleman remains undeterred in his journey towards triumph. Triumph – born of an unwavering resolve and complete assurance in his abilities; this gentleman cannot be denied what he has tirelessly striven for. And despite ardent attempts to trivialize his work, undermine his legitimacy, or boldly question his intellect; ignorance and hatred will be trumped every time. Believe it. No amount of mockery can shake his confidence. He is resolute. He is intelligent. He is courageous. More importantly, he recognizes that there exists individuals consumed with hubris and guided by conceit, which ultimately hastens their downfall. So, he stays in his lane and does what he does best – win. Are you a winner?

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