So, the other day I was listening to two gentlemen argue back & forth on a local radio station over a series of subject matter that was wildly all over the map. After approximately 6 minutes of disagreements and accusations, one gentleman boldly proclaimed that the other guy could “find him in the streets”. For the uninformed, those are basically fighting words. Hearing that, I was reminded of a question my mother posed last weekend. Reflecting on the neighborhood and the male residents around her, she wondered aloud if any of the men gave any considerable thought to their futures. You see, every day they were in the street. Simply…in…the…street. Lounging with friends, floating aimlessly though life. Doing nothing. No purpose. No objective. Satisfied with just making it. Just making it. Being “in the streets” is not a productive course for a gent’s life. No. The distinguished gentleman has a vision for his future. He has a mission statement for his life. Aspirations are dreamed. And dreams come to fruition. He is traveling a road towards greatness. Towards fulfillment. Towards accomplishment. Where does your road lead you?


Strongly influenced by meager beginnings, his character has been wisely steeled with sincere humility – resistant to the caustic nature of arrogance and hubris. He understands that his current elevated status does not preclude reflection and deep thought. Thoughts that include a former reality burdened with struggle and tribulation. It is this remembrance that grants an appreciation for what he has and not lamentation for what he does not have. His wisdom dictates a comprehension that recognizes happiness is not predicated on monetary reward. And happiness is not sustained by perpetual monetary fulfillment. Because when allowed, wealth possesses a peculiar proclivity for nurturing a vanity that slowly erodes a gentleman’s character. Therefore, his heart is absent conceit and pretension. Family. Friends. Community. Serving his God. Those are the things that make him whole. Those are the things that give him joy. Those are the things that keep him humble.


As sophisticated gentlemen of color, it is paramount that we allow our stylish presentation to lead by example. We just can’t dictate that a young gentleman pull his trousers up when our presentation is just as disheveled and unkempt. Our sartorial game needs to be raised to a level that we ourselves demand. It is incumbent upon the elder gent to put forth an elegant image worth admiring and emulating. We cannot cast chastisement and judgment without simultaneously offering instructions – guided by wisdom and knowledge. And we better look good doing it. Let us face the facts, no one is going to take sartorial advice from you if your appearance looks like crap. Your oxfords better be polished. That necktie better be dimpled. And for crying out loud, ensure that your own pants are pulled up to a reasonable height. Act your age. Dress your age. Trust me, no young gentleman will listen to or follow your advice if you are dressed like the latest hip hop artist. And they shouldn’t.


The determined gentleman recognizes that his future must never be laid upon the altar of simple chance. If the gentleman has ever been the beneficiary of chance, it is most likely he has smartly positioned himself to gain her favor. He strategically places himself in the path of prosperity. Never entirely dependent on luck, he sets his own course and smartly navigates his way towards success. He does not unwisely sacrifice his fate to the unknown. He goes hard and he leaves absolutely nothing on the table.

Regrets? The gentleman tries his best not to live with them. He never wants to be faced with the unfortunate reality that his effort was lacking and uninspired. Regrets? No. His spirit and mind are at peace because he understands that he puts forth maximum effort. Minimal action is never an option and the concept of “cannot” is never acceptable. Resolute. Resilient. Relentless. The successful gentleman has been rewarded with the blessings of accomplishment because he is diligent and his spiritual faith is unwavering. Leave nothing and maximize the reward. Never rely on chance. Chart your own future and bring your dreams to fruition.


To be absolutely certain, a true gentleman does not artificially inflate his status with the hopes of degrading another individual’s position. He does not exalt his own success with the silly, sole purpose of entertaining an audience. Sure, his educational pedigree is perhaps superior. And perhaps his financial status is greater as well. However, this gentleman understands that worth is not guided by material or academic status. He is humble. He is quiet. He rejects the presumption that his class is exceedingly higher than the man standing next to him. And if such realities were true, he does not call attention to such facts. Such preoccupation is foolish. Instead, he strives to uplift – never to tear down. So, lift someone up today. Recognize your good fortune and realize your reality could be remarkable different. Lift someone up today…right now.

30 responses

  1. Gentlemen Standard is a great site. I have often found this site to be uplifting and informative. I am very impressed with the new look.


  2. I have spent the better part of the day perusing The Gentlemen’s Standard, and I must agree that this is a great site. Very few catch and hold my attention, but this is definitely one that I have passed on to my mentees that try, and do “upgrades” by walking through my closet, and picking out men’s accessories to “borrow”. Definitely keep this going as it is informative as entertaining.


    • Well, thank you very much. I really wanted to create a positive site that everyone could enjoy. And I really enjoy writing it too. I am very pleased with how the WordPress platform is working out. It is better than I had ever hoped.


  3. I like this series of posts. You manage to strike a good balance where you don’t come off too preachy nor wise. As long as I’m reading, keep them coming.


  4. This reminds me of my Pastor, Rev. Dr. Ralph Douglas West in Houston, Texas. What would I love is a general picture of what these men want in their mates, wives attire. I know your book is probably already written but a few hints for their mates or African American women would be nice!


  5. No. Conservative women married to men of distinction, gentlemen and a few hints about how the women should dress. For example many women who marry pastors, today do not know how to dress appropriately except on some not all Sundays. It’s hit or miss for services on weeknights- one day they dress like a teenager and on another day they dress nicely. In other words whereas these men dress on purpose and have a standard their wives often do not— esp. women under 45 or 40 married to leaders, pastors etc… It takes the self examination, vision, and philosophy described on your site for the men to knowingly and unknowingly dress. How do we get the women to do the same? Do you have any hints for them— just a few….


    • Hi Lawrence. I have added 2 follow buttons towards the bottom of the blog page under my picture. If you have a WordPress account, you can just hit the follow button up top in the task bar on the page. Hope that helps and thanks for reading.


  6. Mr. Palmer, this is a great website. If American men, regardless of race would start following this advice our society would be a much more kinder, gentler place to be. The points you make remind me of my grandfather and the simple things about the proper conduct of a man. Things like opening doors for women, honoring your family and responsibilities, saying sir/ma’am, etc. keep up the great work!


  7. Young hispanic man here, I just stumbled across this website and was touched. It’s easy to forget these standards and lose your way. I am very thankful for your writing and will take it to heart.


  8. Just to be clear: this is a great site for a man of ANY color. Blessings to you on this high road and may it always be clear.


  9. Im so glad i found this site. its difficult for young brothers to find good role models. we have to look pretty hard unfortunately, but its up to us to be our best ideal selves whether we have a role model or not


    • Hey, thanks for checking me out. Sorry for the delayed response. I don’t get nearly enough time to blog like I used to. However, my daughter has put together 2 nights in a row of good sleep. Knock on wood! Maybe I will get more time to write again. Thanks again for dropping in.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I simply cannot believe how I did not discover this website earlier! A gentleman who lives what he preaches. As an aspiring gentleman I am delighted to say that your teaching along with that of my father and other males in my life are putting me on a track that leads straight to manhood. As an adolescent I am at a stage where I am malleable like a piece of Alkali metal. Too many males are remaining boys and not enough are becoming men. Even fewer are becoming gentlemen. If I am learning only one thing from your “standard” posts is that I need to teach as much as I am learning. I honestly cannot thank you enough for what you have provided me with.


    • Hi Paul – thank you so much for your testimony. Your words have really touched me. I am glad that you find my site helpful in your maturation. I am sure you have surrounded yourself with great influence and you’ll a gentleman others will look to for inspiration. You appear to certainly on the right track. Thanks again for the kind words. You take care sir.


  11. As a 30 year old black man, I would like to thank you for this blog. This was such a refreshing, corrective and encouraging read. I am a gentleman in most of these points, but sometimes even a gentleman needs his coat tail pulled. This was certainly an encouraging read, due to my ambitions and goals that I though were far fetched. I am stepping out of my comfort zone and pursuing a graduate degree and was unsure about this decision, since the University I was accepted to is 700 miles away from my family. Although I have friends in that state, this will be my first time away from my family and I am proud that I made this decision to go forth. I hope that you continue with these Standard points, as they are very much needed. Best!!!!!!!!


  12. Mr. Palmer,

    I found your blog through a link from Real Men Real Style and I am grateful that I have. I have 2 Son’s whom I would love to gift some of the Gentleman’s Standards to in a Leather Bound Book on their 16th Birthdays. One is 15 and the other is 9. Is there someone I can contact to request permission?


    • Hi John – I a very flattered that you would like to share some of my work. Sure, I don’t have an issue. Thank you for reading, and thank for thinking highly of my work that you would share with your sons.


  13. I am a man of colour (Sri Lankan and Spanish parentage). I have unfortuntely suffered the slings and arrows of systemic racism, but can honestly say that I am inspired by the standards that you have outlined in your blog. You have truly distilled the essence of what it is to be a gentlemen and the magnamity that goes with it. Highlighting generosity and personal responsibility are virtues I try to instill in the young men that I teach, most of whom are of Polynesian extraction. Many feel that football is paramount to being a ‘man’. I have used your words to moor them to the virtues of education, self-discipline and self-respect (exemplified through their appearance). I have used your standards to help develop a sense of espirit de corps among these economically disadvantaged teenagers who will hopefully develop into young men of substance, capable of extending largesse to those who would wrong them.


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