Even in today’s modern age, a man should follow the Gentleman’s code

What you are getting into: 536 words, 3mins read

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Olu Eletu

Every man should follow some form of code. For me, it’s the gentleman’s code.

They are timeless codes that will endure the test of time. Many complain that chivalry is dead. No they are not, there are just too many boys around.

These are the codes I follow, and I hope you do too:

  1. Be courteous and respect other people’s feelings and opinions.
  2. First impressions matter, so dress up, stay well groomed, and smell nice.
  3. The main purpose of dressing well isn’t to impress, it’s self-respect. When you have self-respect, exuding confidence comes naturally — that’s the main purpose.
  4. Opening the door or giving up a seat for a lady isn’t up for discussion.
  5. Starting / instigating a fight is for school boys, but men obtain the power to end one.
  6. Learn how to fight, pray that you will never use it. But when you use it, it is to defend your love ones.
  7. Handwritten “Thank you” cards aren’t outdated. What’s outdated is thoughtful appreciation. Use them.
  8. Don’t play games when it comes to love. If you like them, tell them. Ask them out by calling, not texting.
  9. Make sure everyone has their plate before you start eating.
  10. We don’t always have to be the center of attention, but we are always noticed. It is our signature as gentlemen to come, make a statement, leave, and be remembered.
  11. Admit when you’re wrong. Apologise sincerely, make it up for the oversight, learn from it, and move on.
  12. Don’t harp on past mistakes.
  13. Be a friend, look after each other’s back. No backstabbing business.
  14. Control your emotions, let your guard down appropriately, and never lose your temper.
  15. Watch your language. Foul language signify lack of etiquette and style.
  16. Own a well tailored suit. If you cannot fit the suit you own, make a new suit.
  17. A gentleman never has to tell anyone he is a gentleman. He just is.
  18. Know yourself. Know what you like, what you don’t. Know what you know, what you don’t. Know what values and principles you uphold, what you don’t. And if you don’t know yourself yet, then your job now is to know yourself.
  19. Never engage in gossip. If you are in the vicinity, walk away. If you can’t, defend the absent. If you can’t, walk away.
  20. A gentleman have his own dedication. Know your dedication.
  21. Look forward and keep your shoulders upright when you walk. Don’t ever use your phone to text when walking. If you really need to send that text else you or someone might die, stop, get to the side, and finish your business.
  22. Develop a hobby. A hobby takes your own off worries and trains your ability to focus.
  23. Develop a sense of humour and optimism. It has the power to disarm even the mightiest guard walls.
  24. A gentleman gives nothing but his best for any endeavours he is passionate about. He shall not waste time pursuing trivial things.
  25. Last but not least, a gentleman loves his partner, family, and friends with all his heart and he vow to never break their heart.

With that, I leave you with this timeless passage:

An open letter to people who lacks empathy

What you are getting into: 675 words, 4mins read

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Annie Spratt

Recently I have come across people who have absolutely no empathy. They only care about themselves. To the point where they think they are the center of the whole entire universe. They only talk about themselves. They care about nothing. They don’t care about people who have no food, no water, no water, no access to education, no access to internet, well you get the idea. Yet they think they are living the toughest life there is in the whole entire universe.

I think they lack empathy.

This article talks about empathy.

Empathy fuels connection, sympathy drives disconnection. Words from Brene Brown.

There are four qualities of empathy by Theresa Wiseman:

  1. To be able to see the world as others see it—this requires putting our stuff aside to see the situation through the eyes of a loved one
  2. To be nonjudgmental—judgement of another person’s situation discounts the experience and is an attempt to protect ourselves from the pain of the situation
  3. To understand another person’s feelings—we need to be in touch with our personal feelings in order to understand someone else’s. This also requires putting aside “us” to focus on our loved one
  4. To communicate our understanding of that person’s feelings—rather than saying, “At least…” or “It could be worse…” try, “I’ve been there, and that really hurts,” or (to quote an example from Brown) “It sounds like you are in a hard place now. Tell me more about it.”

Putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes requires tremendous amount of effort. We need to let down our guard, to feel the emotions they are feeling, to open ourselves up. In order words, we need to be vulnerable as well.

Raise your hand if you know people who are immensely judgmental. Without getting all the facts right, they jump into conclusions. I am no saint either. I too have times where I judge someone without even knowing what they have been through. This is because of our biological nature. Back in the caveman days humans require quick judgment in sensing danger. However, now that the world have industrialised, we have not shaken that innate trait off, and it is causing a lot of problems.

Even if we let our guard down and try to feel what people are feeling without any judgment, are we even good enough to communicate what we think in our own minds to them? To speak in a way that doesn’t raise their defence walls higher. To express our condolences and that we have experienced their pain once in our lives before.

What if we have yet to experience such sorrow?

Then we keep our mouths shut.

Empathy is a choice and it’s a vulnerable choice. In order to connect with you, I have to connect with something in myself that knows that feeling. Rarely, if ever, does an empathic response begin with, “At least…”

Here are some of the examples Brene gave:

They: “I had a miscarriage.”

I: “At least you know you can get pregnant.”

They: ”I think my marriage is falling apart.”

I: “At least you have a marriage.”

They: ”John’s getting kicked out of school.”

I: “At least Sarah is an A-student.”

Someone shared something with us that’s incredibly painful and we’re trying to “silver lining” it. I don’t think that’s a verb, but I’m using it as one. We’re trying to put a silver lining around it.

But this approach almost always doesn’t work. We try to sympathise by silver lining it and we end up making things worse. When trying to sympathise we may end up making the other person feel worse than they did before they approached us.

So don’t sympathise. Let’s empathise instead. Stop silver lining it. Let’s understand their plight. If we can’t, then let’s just keep our mouths shut.

Because sometimes the best thing we can do is just listen.

Dissecting Meditations, a personal journal by Marcus Aurelius Part #7

What you are getting into: 573 words, 3mins read

Here, I will share my contemplations upon reading the published personal journal of Marcus Aurelius, a roman emperor from 161-180 AD. Thoughts mainly stemmed from Stoicism, and Marcus Aurelius used the notes for guidance and self improvement. It’s a translated book by Gregory Hays, or you can read it online.

For this and upcoming posts I attempt to dissect quotes I favour upon reading the book.

Photo via Pixabay

Don’t let yourself forget how many doctors have died, after furrowing their brows over how many deathbeds. How many astrologers, after pompous forecasts about others’ ends. How many philosophers, after endless disquisitions on death and immortality. How many warriors, after inflicting thousands of casualties themselves. How many tyrants, after abusing the power of life and death atrociously, as if they were themselves immortal.

How many whole cities have met their end: Helike, Pompeii, Herculaneum, and countless others.

And all the ones you know yourself, one after another. One who laid out for burial, and was buried himself, and then the man who buried him — all in the same short space of time.

In short, know this: Human lives are brief and trivial. Yesterday a blob of semen; tomorrow embalming fluid, ash.

To pass through this brief life as nature demands. To give it up without complaint.

Like an olive that ripens and falls.

Praising its mother, thanking the tree it grew on.

Poignant as it seems, life is short and fragile. This entry starts off with a reminder, accomplished men like doctors, astrologers, philosophers, warriors, and even tyrants have met their end. I suspect these are the highly respected fields back in the Roman days. Much like today’s politicians, scientists, mathematicians, economists, inventors, Fortune 100 CEOs. Then it goes on to state even powerful cities can and will fall.

To those who reject the thought of death, I say they may be ignorant. Why? Because death awaits us all. What then? Should we just give it all up without putting on a good show? True, the entry may be a facile statement. Imagine watching a 5 second video of life VS a 90 second video of life can be used as an analogy here. Life is short, but there’s a difference between living fully for 5secs and living mindlessly for 90secs. To throw away experiencing life to it’s fullest and sucking the marrow out of it merely wastes the gift that is bestowed upon us all.

Try not to waste life away, even if your life is played on level 999. Try not to compare your level 999 to someone else’s level 5; something that is very easy to do in the amplified social media world. Pick an area and obsess about it. If it doesn’t work out, move on. Wallowing in despair because something doesn’t work out is futile, it brings no progress except to prolong the pain.

Onto the last part, the most important part, thanking the the tree it grew on. Be grateful for mother nature for giving us a life. Be grateful for parents, for giving birth to us. Be grateful for society, for giving us a sense of belonging. You can be grateful for anything if you look hard enough.

Life is cyclical. It has a start and an end. Then it starts again, but no longer our own.