My Biggest Lesson from Louisiana

Afternoon gents, it’s Max from the Young Gentleman’s Guide here! So, for those of who know me personally or follow me on my personal social media, you’ll most likely that I went on a trip to Louisiana, United States for the New Year. I had a wonderful time, visited some dear friends, and finally got to visit my dream city, the jazz capital of the world, New Orleans! However, there was also a lot that I learned while I was there, not just about the culture and the people, but what I think is a good lesson for all young gentlemen to take to heart: the preservation of history. Allow me to elaborate.

Disclaimer: I know I tend to stay away from political topics on this blog, and I want to clarify that I don’t mean for this to come across as me pushing a certain political ideology. I’m just hoping to offer my own my own point of view based on my personal experience, not any political ideology.

So, it should come as no surprise that the state of Louisiana was more or less a hub of one of the most shameful points in American history: the African slave trade. Because of its prevalence throughout the southern United States, especially Louisiana for so long, and even the effects of it still heavily rippling through the area after the Civil War, many generations of African Americans were at the mercy the white man. Whether it was slavery itself, Jim Crow laws, segregation, voter suppression, the state of Louisiana has certainly had a less than favorable history. However, instead of looking to erase said history, I seemed to notice that many of those in the state still acknowledge it, and in some cases, embrace it. By embrace it, I don’t mean look back on it for reasons of wanting to go back to that time (though I’m not denying that there may be people out there who genuinely want that), rather, they look as it as a symbol of advancement and progress, and they also look at the myriad of positive things that have come from such a dark time in history.

Yes, despite the objectively shameful things that had transpired throughout Louisiana’s… storied history to say the very best of it, there are many who acknowledge that there are quite a few favorable things that have come from it as well, especially where culture is concerned. The slaves brought many of their own cultural influences with them, which over time, began to not only blend with the English/Dutch influences that the original settlers had brought with them, but also the French influence from the colonizers who had been in the area prior. This resulted in the development of such a unique and vibrant culture that hasn’t been seen anywhere else in the world, let alone the United States. Not only did it lead to new developments in the world of cuisine, resulting in culinary phenomena like gumbo, jambalaya, etouffée, red beans and rice, and the like, but there were also completely new linguistic developments with almost entirely new dialects of English and French, and a revolution in the world of music with the creation of jazz. None of this is to say that the enslavement of Africans was in any way ethical or favorable, because it absolutely wasn’t, but without it, many of these things would have never happened or existed.

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So what exactly am I saying here? What I’m trying to say is that the biggest thing I learned while traversing Louisiana is that all aspects of history, good and bad, should be preserved, and that the people of Louisiana, at least from what I saw, do a wonderful job of that. Not only does the preservation of history show the people how far they’ve come as a society, but such a history resulted in an entirely unique culture that the people of Louisiana and the southern United States can call their very own. But most importantly, the preservation of history should serve as a reminder of how far we’ve come so as never to go back, because as the old adage goes, those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it.

New Orleans Cathedral

Apologies if this article seemed all over the place, this is just a bit of a complicated subject for me to tackle. All I’m trying to say is that a gentleman should do everything in his power to preserve history. The good, the bad, the ugly, the personal, the familial, the societal, it all deserves to preserved or in some cases, embraced. In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s article. Please be sure to share the article, follow the blog, follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, and support us on Patreon. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!

Should a Gentleman be Pro-Life?

Afternoon gents, it’s Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide here! So, it should come as no surprise that the pro-life vs. pro-choice argument is VERY controversial and extremely passionate on both sides, but nonetheless, it’s something I’ve been wanting to talk about for a while. This was also inspired by our admin Mary’s article about the March for Life 2020, so be sure to check that out when you’re done here.

So if any of you reading are even remotely involved in politics, you’ve likely come across an argument for or against abortion in some capacity, because like I’ve said before, it is a very hot-button issue that both sides of the political aisle get very passionate about. In the light of certain events, I thought it would be worthwhile to put in my two cents on the issue (despite how many circles on the pro-choice side will argue how men shouldn’t even have an opinion on abortion). So without any further ado, let’s get started.

So, as Mary and I have both pointed out (though Mary may be more upfront about it than me), one of the most important things that a man should do is to stand up for and defend a woman’s honor. However, it’s not just the honor of women that need protecting, it’s the honor and dignity of every man, woman, and child deserving of it, and if you ask me, no one is more deserving of it than a child who has committed literally no crime or injustice; not against his or herself, and certainly not against the mother. Speaking of which, it’s important to be compassionate towards the mother as well as the child. It’s important to remember that any expectant mother, whether the pregnancy is planned or not, is in an extremely vulnerable position and will be seeking out the best situation possible for herself and her child. As such, any gentleman worth his salt should be doing whatever possible to provide that for her, whether said woman is his sister, cousin, mother, aunt, or especially his spouse. Nowhere on the list should that include taking the life of an innocent unborn child. Even if that child was conceived through such things as rape or incest, simply ending its life won’t magically undo what happened. If nothing else, all it does is create another trauma on top of the assault responsible for her situation in the first place. Not only that, but there’s no reason why the child should have to pay the price for the sins of the father; punish the one responsible for putting the woman in such a situation, not the the mother and especially not the child. Life itself is nothing short of a miracle, and men as well as women should be doing everything in their power to defend it, no matter how big or small. In the words of the incomparable Dr. Seuss, “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

So based on all of that, should a gentleman be pro-life? If a gentleman want to properly fulfill his duty of defending the honor and dignity of not just women, children, and life itself, then yes, he absolutely should. If you’d like to learn more about the pro-life cause from those who have much greater authority to speak about it than I do, I’ll leave some links to some the biggest pro-life advocacy groups and what they stand for. In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s article. Please be sure to share the article, follow the blog, follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, and support us on Patreon. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!

Pro-Life Advocacy Groups:

Live Action

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Human Defense Initiative

HDI

Life News

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Best Artists to Listen to for Black History Month

Afternoon gents, it’s Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide here! So today’s article is going to be quite a bit different than a lot of our other articles. Since this article will most likely be going up on February 1st, that means it will be going up at the start of Black History Month. People, at least in the United States, use the month of February to celebrate the contributions that people of color have brought to the world, whether in science, technology, art, music, politics, or any other facet of everyday life. So today, I thought it would be fun to highlight some of my personal favorite African American artists and bring to light their specific contributions to the world of music. You may be surprised by who you see. Also, fair warning, this article will be quite lengthy since I have a lot of artists I want to cover, but I promise you will enjoy it. So without any further ado, let’s get started!

1. Louis Armstrong (1901-1971)

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Louissssssss. Pops. Satchmo. Dippermouth. The man who taught the world to swing. Very few names in the world jazz are as celebrated as his. Being born and raised in the jazz capital of the world, New Orleans, he was one of the first major pioneers of the jazz genre, and likely changed the course of popular music as we know it. He was the first to put an emphasis on individual improvisation in jazz as opposed to ensemble playing that a lot of early jazz was known for. With the instantly recognizable sound of both his horn and his voice (and such a winning smile helped too), Armstrong won over the hearts of so many, and his contributions to the world of music are still celebrated to this day, especially in New Orleans.

2. Cab Calloway (1907-1994)

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Born in Rochester, New York, Cab Calloway had a charismatic energy and vocal style all his own. His music brought such a unique energy that there were actually entire cartoons just based around some of his songs. He was also a master of scat-singing, so much so that his nickname was the Hi-De-Ho Man. Anyone who’s in a bad mood or otherwise feeling down should definitely give his music a listen, it’s certain to put anyone in a good mood.

3. Duke Ellington (1899-1974)

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Not only was Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington a virtuoso pianist, having written his first piano rag when he was just fifteen (15) years old, but there are many who consider him one of, if not the greatest American composer in history. Given the catalog of masterpieces that have come from him, such as C Jam Blues, In a Mellow Tone, In a Sentimental Mood, Caravan, and others, it’s pretty hard to deny that. He was also a revolutionary bandleader, having been a pioneer of the swing era, and also being known for demanding only the very best out of his musicians. He was so influential, that he is actually mentioned by name as one of “music’s pioneers” in Stevie Wonder’s hit song Sir Duke.

4. Count Basie (1904-1984)

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Yet another giant during the swing era, William “Count” Basie was able to bring his own unique stamp to the world of jazz. Along with adding more of a Kansas City flair to his style as opposed to Duke Ellington’s New York/Harlem influence, Basie also changed the game with a focus on more riff-based melodies and solos instead of longer melodic phrases. Such a writing style made his music and his orchestra instantly recognizable, as well as fairly accessible to the public and beginners in the style of jazz.

5. Miles Davis (1926-1991)

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As a trumpet player myself, this man is one of my personal heroes. While it’s obvious that he a was a master of the trumpet, with a sound and style all his own, he was also a pioneer of many different movements in modern jazz. He was briefly a member of the bebop movement alongside Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and others, he really made a name for himself in cool movement, the modal movement, and especially the fusion movement. Many consider his album Kind of Blue to be the greatest jazz album of all time. He certainly left his stamp on the world of music, and his influence doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

6. John Coltrane (1926-1967)

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Considered by many to be one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century, Trane’s impact on the world of music is so profound that it’s practically entered the world of legend. There are entire college courses dedicated to studying just his music! Having made so many innovations in terms of improvisation, melodic concepts, chord sequencing, and so many other things, his impact on the world of not just jazz, but music in general is as clear as the sun is bright. In his own words, “All music is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to Him.”

Let’s not forget any of the ladies out there!

7. Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996)

Ella Fitzgerald

Often referred to as the “First Lady of American Song”, Ella Fitzgerald is often one of the first names brought up when talking about American music, and for good reason. Her impeccable intonation, purity of voice, scat-singing chops, and ability to imitate any instrument in any ensemble made her incredibly versatile. As a result, many of the jazz greats had the pleasure of working with her, including the aforementioned Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, and Duke Ellington, and that’s just scratching the surface. With such a résumé and musical catalog behind her, it’s hard to tell where music today would be without her.

8. Billie Holiday (1915-1959)

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“Lady Day” as she was colloquially known, had taken many influences from the likes of Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith, and came to develop a jazz vocal style all her own. Her soulful voice and creative songwriting were enough to make her a hit, but she also came into the spotlight as an civil rights activist. Her hit song Strange Fruit was somewhat controversial when it was released, as it was not only a song, but also a social commentary about the pervasiveness of lynchings in the Jim Crow-era south. A splash in the world of music and civil rights, Billie Holiday has certainly become nothing less of an American icon.

9. Clora Bryant (1927-2019)

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Clora Bryant was certainly somewhat of an oddball in the world of jazz. Though it wasn’t actively discouraged, it wasn’t very common for women in Bryant’s time to play the trumpet, since instruments like it, the saxophone, and the trombone we generally seen as more “masculine” instruments. It wasn’t just that Bryant was a female trumpet player that made her notable, however. Being mentored by bebop legend Dizzy Gillespie and touring with bands like the International Sweethearts of Rhythm and Queens of Swing led her to develop her own signature style on par with that of Gillespie himself. She’s certainly an underrated name in the world of jazz who I feel needs more appreciation.

So there you go! Apologies for how long this article was, there was just a lot of stuff I wanted to cover. If you’re interested, I actually have a Spotify playlist featuring these artists and several others, which I’ll link to right here. In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s article. Please be sure to share the article, follow the blog, follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, and support us on Patreon. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!

Do Looks Matter?

Afternoon gents, it’s Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide here! Today, I’m setting out to answer what is possibly the most difficult question when it comes to dating and relationships: do looks matter when looking for a romantic partner or spouse? This is a question that has been floating around and hotly debated seemingly since the beginning of time. There are some who say that looks shouldn’t matter at all, and there are others who say it’s the most important thing when looking for a partner. So today, I’m going to put my hat into the ring and give my take on this issue and give the best advice I can to my readers.

To start, it’s important to understand that humans by nature are largely visual creatures. We take a lot of cues from what we see around us and draw a lot of conclusions about people and the environment from what we can see with our own eyes. That’s why we see so many attractive people in advertisements and put attractive celebrities on some sort of pedestal. Unfortunately, this has led to a bit of a bias where more attractive people are perceived as generally “better people”, even if that may not always be the case. This leads quite nicely into the meat of the rest of this article.

Since humans are naturally visual creatures, what a person looks like can certainly contribute to how someone feels about them. Simply how woman looks could be the deciding factor for if a man asks her out, or vice versa. However, the surface level looks of a person are just that: surface level looks. While looks may matter someone right out the gate (which is likely why so many dating sites and dating apps are so prolific), it should come as no surprise that levels of human connection run a lot deeper than that. That may sound like typical, bumper sticker wisdom, but it’s true. While looks can certainly make someone attractive, there may also be personality traits and character quirks that contribute to how attractive a person is. On top of that, possibly the most important thing to remember is that it’s all subjective. What one person finds attractive may not be attractive to someone else. So to summarize, while looks may matter in the short term, the levels of human connection and relationship building go a lot deeper than that. That’s not to say that it’s bad or shameful to put an emphasis on looks when looking for a date or a spouse. It’s just important to remember that looks aren’t everything.

So there we have it! Apologies if the conclusion I came to wasn’t as cut and dry as you were hoping, this is simply a very difficult subject to tackle. So in the end, even if someone’s looks are important to you, don’t let it be the dealbreaker. You could lose out on a potential girlfriend or even a spouse. In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s article. Please be sure to share the article, follow the blog, follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, and support us on Patreon. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!

Sources:

https://sites.psu.edu/aspsy/2019/04/07/do-looks-matter-2/

Valentine’s Day: Romantic, or Sham?

Afternoon gents, it’s Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide here! So, as pretty much all of us in the western world are aware, Valentine’s Day is coming up next month. Lovers are likely getting ready to spend a romantic night together, those who are single are preparing to lament the day by eating mounds of discount chocolate and watching romantic movies, and the majority of us will likely just treat it like any other day of the week. However, in the spirit of the holiday, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about a topic that has been more on the rise over the years. Is Valentine’s Day truly the magical day full or rainbows, roses, and romance like it’s built up to be, or is it just a sham invented by Hallmark and department stores so they can just sell greeting cards and discount candy? The answer that I’ve come to may surprise you.

To start off, it’s important to note that despite the commercialization and corporatization of Valentine’s Day today, the day does have roots in history, though said roots are difficult to pinpoint. Most experts believe that the celebration of love and fertility that defines the 14th of February dates back to 3rd-century Rome, where persecution of Christians was commonplace. According to medieval legends, Roman Emperor Claudius Gothicus believed that soldiers in his army who were single were better equipped to fight than those who had wives and families. As a result of this belief, he forbade his soldiers from getting married. To circumvent this, Saint Valentine is said to have performed marriage ceremonies for a number of Roman soldiers in secret, or according to other versions of the legend, pass notes between Christian lovers imprisoned by Emperor Claudius. Despite the dodgy accuracy and validity of these legends, it has been historically documented that there were actually multiple Saint Valentines who did in fact die on February 14th, but only two received the treatment that most people are familiar with; that being they were beheaded by order of Emperor Claudius. While the historical validity of the miracles and actions has certainly been brought into question, medieval Christians took these legends of secret wedding ceremonies, note-passing, and even curing a young girl of blindness, and ran with them, using the date of Valentine’s execution, as well as its correspondence with certain Pagan celebrations of love and fertility, as the basis of the holiday of love and friendship as we know it today.

With the increase of claims that Valentine’s Day is like Christmas, in that it’s a “corporate invention” or a “commercialized sham”, whether or not V-Day is truly meant to be this beautiful celebration of romance has certainly become a big talking point. In all honesty, I can see where a lot this criticism comes from. All these companies saying that you should be celebrating love in your life, whether it’s with your family or a significant other, when should arguably be doing that every day certainly seems like a forced message used as a front to just buy greeting cards and candy. That being said, I also don’t see anything wrong with taking a certain day to express your love more so than most other days. Married couples do it on their wedding anniversaries, families do it on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, and if they want to the same thing on Valentine’s Day, then I don’t see anything wrong with that. Plus, since when has spending money on someone a bad thing? I understand that it shouldn’t be absolutely necessary to do so, but at the same time, spending money to get something nice for someone you love, whether it costs a million dollars if you’re rich or just one dollar if you’re poor, is just another way to show that you love and care about them.

So what exactly am I saying here? I think at the end of the day, whether Valentine’s Day is a corporate sham or not really shouldn’t matter. If you and your wife, girlfriend, or anyone in your family want to use it as a day to do something special and celebrate your love, then by all means, go ahead. If you just want to treat it like any other day and you are able to celebrate the love you have in your life every single day, then that’s fine too. What matters is that it’s your decision, and you made that decision on your own.

Apologies to anyone who was expecting a definite answer to this question, but at the end of the day, everyone has a right to make their own decisions, and Valentine’s Day seemed like an appropriate topic to discuss. So whatever any of you young gents are doing for Valentine’s Day, enjoy yourself, stay safe, and make the most of it. In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s article. Please be sure to share the article, follow the blog, follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, and support us on Patreon. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!

Sources:

https://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day/history-of-valentines-day-2

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/gory-origins-valentines-day-180968156/

 

Is There a Right Time to get Married?

Afternoon gents, it’s Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide here! To start off, I want to offer my sincerest apologies for not having any articles up in so long, I’ve been incredibly busy with so many musical and professional endeavors which have hindered the amount of time I have to write, but since we’re now in the new year, I intend to hit the ground running with new content on the blog going forward. In any case, I hope you enjoy this article as well as all our other content going forward.

This article will, once again, be an expansion to one of the 15 Rules for Gentlemen to Teach Their Sons, rule number 10 in the case of this article. Rule number 10 states that there is never a right time to get married. Allow me to expand on what I mean by that.

By saying that there’s no right time to get married, I’m not saying that getting married is by any means a wrong decision or that getting married is bad at any time. All I’m saying is that with a decision as big as choosing to spend the rest of your life with someone, there will always be risks going in. Nothing is set in stone, and there can be a multitude of factors that can create problems for both people involved in the sacrament. There can be financial issues, family emergencies, sickness, and not being entirely prepared, just to name a few. While there are risks going in and it’s almost guaranteed that there will be things that will create problems in the marriage, the best thing that anyone looking to get married can do is to simply make the best-informed decision they can make given the time and circumstances. If you know for a fact that the woman you’re dating and looking to marry is a good person who works well with you, treats you with the same respect and dignity you show her, and also knows that she wants to get married, then marrying her could very well be the best-informed decision you can make. Of course, I am no authority on this. I am well aware that every relationship is different. Two people may need more time to date and connect than another two people, the circumstances leading up to their relationship and their marriage may be different. I’m certainly not the arbiter of what might be the aforementioned “best-informed decision”, that can only be left up to the lovebirds. In the words of Parks and Recreation‘s Ron Swanson, “You find someone you like, and you roll the dice.”

So there it is! Apologies if this article seemed a bit more vague and abstract than most of my other articles. This is clearly a very difficult subject to talk about, and I by no means have all the answers. In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s article. Please be sure to share the article, follow the blog, follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, and support us on Patreon. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!

2 More Classical Music Pieces Every Gentleman Should Listen To

Afternoon gents, it’s Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide here! So I’m on a bit of a time crunch for this article, and there is one that I have drafted right now that will require quite a bit more research and will have to go up at a later date. So today, I wanted to write something a bit more simple and lighthearted. This will essentially be an extension of my first article pertaining to this subject, so be sure to check that one out before continuing on. If you’ve already read that first article, then feel free to continue on with this one. This article will highlight just two more pieces of classical music that every gentleman should take the time to listen to, but since there are just two pieces to be highlighted, I will go into a bit more detail about them. So without any more delay, let’s started!

1. Symphony No. 1: “The Lord of the Rings” (1988)

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Spotify link here

To start off, we’re actually going to start with the most recently composed piece I’m going to mention on either of these lists. Also, it’s the only one I’ve mentioned so far that was written for a concert band, though one of my all-time favorite recordings of it has it transcribed for a full orchestra. In any case, this piece is a fascinating piece to look at considering the fact that its composer, Johan De Meij (1953-present) actually based the symphony off of the first Lord of the Rings book, The Fellowship of the Ring, and the movements reflect this. The movements break down as follows:

  1. Gandalf (The Wizard)
  2. Lothlórien (The Elevenwood)
  3. Gollum (Sméagol)
  4. Journey Through the Dark (The Mines of Moria & The Bridge of Khazad-Dûm)
  5. Hobbits

As you can see, each movement of the symphony is based on a certain character, setting, or situation from the book, and each movement encapsulates that particular moment perfectly. Gandalf sounds very sage and wise, but also embarks on a frantic journey to research the Ring; Lothlórien is ancient and mysterious, with the instruments mimicking natural forest sounds; Gollum, represented by a soprano saxophone solo, is slimy and conniving, but may still have some good in him as represented by the accompanying orchestra; Journey Through the Dark is long, treacherous, and mysterious, with the showdown with the Balrog near the end being grand and epic; Hobbits have a simple march-like tune as their theme, with a solemn, hymn-like variation of that theme following it, showing the simplicity of the Hobbits’ way of living. It’s even speculated that Howard Shore took at least some inspiration from this symphony when writing the score for the Lord of the Rings films directed by Peter Jackson. It’s hard to deny after listening to the symphony, but whether or not it’s actually true remains up to debate.

2. Symphony No. 5 in D minor (1937)

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Spotify link here

Dmitri Shostakovich’s (1906-1975) fifth symphony is one of his most well known and commonly performed symphonies, and for good reason. It’s one of his most emotional and epic works, but what makes it even more fascinating is its place in both musical and political history. Shostakovich wrote most of his music in the 1930s and 1940s, when Joseph Stalin had completely tightened his grip on Soviet Russia. As a result of the musical tastes of Stalin and other Communist Party members, the music of many modernist composers like Shostakovich was being passed off as niche and avant garde, and composers at the time were advised to write music that stuck more to traditional musical standards as a way to make it more accessible to the public. After a scathing editorial about Shostakovich’s music was published in Pravda, the official newspaper of the Soviet Union, Shostakovich began work on his fifth symphony. After its premiere in 1937, the symphony supposedly received an ovation lasting over 30 minutes, and very well could have the piece of music that saved Shostakovich’s life (all of this information and more can be found in this video by Odd Quartet on YouTube). Though there are certainly elements of Shostakovich’s modernist practices throughout the symphony, it was very well-received by the public as well as Communist Party leaders, with many stating that the symphony was Shostakovich quelling his modernist tendencies to make his music more accessible. This piece is worthy to listen to simply as a lesson in musical and political history, but I promise that you will get a lot more out of it than that.

So there we have it! Apologies if this list was substantially shorter than my last article on the subject, but like I said, I was on a bit of a time crunch for this one. Let me know what you think of these pieces by leaving a comment, and if there are any other pieces that you think are worthy of mentioning, be sure to let me know! In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s article. Please be sure to share the article, follow the blog, follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, and support us on Patreon. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!

Stop Using “Virgin” as an Insult

Afternoon gents, it’s Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide here! So today’s topic is may be a bit more risqué than most of my other articles, so any of you younger readers may want to skip over this one; I hope you’ll come back for the next article. In any case, I want to get into something that has turned into quite a pervasive part of that average male lexicon: shaming other men for being virgins. However, as you may have guessed by the title, shaming another man for being a virgin is in no way a good thing, and it may even set a dangerous precedent for young men. Allow me to explain why.

Put simply, shaming men for being virgins is in no way a good thing because there’s simply no shame in being a virgin. A man having standards and saving the beauty of sex for the right time or person has nothing to be ashamed of. Contrary to popular belief, most people who are strong advocates for abstinence have that mindset not because they’re afraid of sex, or “prudes” as they may be called. As a matter of fact, many of those people, including myself, hold the beauty of sex to such a high standard that they don’t want to give it away at the first chance just to fulfill some arbitrary standard set up for them. This is in stark contrast to how society, the education system, and popular media talk about sex. The way that sex is taught and portrayed in these contexts, (not all the time, but often enough to the point where I even have to bring it up) it completely removes all standards that sex may have had. As a result, people, especially men, are being taught that they can and should have as much sex as they please, and by extension, it’s taught men that they should stake their entire reputation on whether or not they’ve done the deed. It’s set a dangerous precedent for men to place all of their value on their virginity, when in reality, it shouldn’t matter at all. That is ultimately the root of the problem. “Virgin” shouldn’t be used as an insult because it shouldn’t really matter, therefore, there shouldn’t feel any shame for men being virgins. More often than not, men with this mindset just hold themselves to at least some kind of standard and believe that the best way to prevent STDs and unwanted pregnancies is to simply wait for the right time and person.

In summary, using “virgin” as an insult is in no way a good thing simply because it doesn’t matter and there’s no reason for a man to be ashamed of being a virgin, despite a multitude of things telling him that he should be. Using “virgin” so derogatorily sets a dangerous precedent for men that shames them into dropping any standards that they  may have had for the sake of hedonism and impressing their peers. Sorry if that got so bleak, this is just something that particularly speaks to me. In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s article. Please be sure to share the article, follow the blog, follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, and support us on Patreon. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!

Be Assertive, don’t be the Bad Guy

Afternoon gents, it’s Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide here! So today’s article is going to be another expansion on one of my 15 Rules to Teach your Sons (I imagine there will more than a few more of these in the future since I feel like I can get a lot more material out of that list). In any case, this article is going to talk about one of the most effective ways to be a good leader. This will more clearly explain the phrase, “be assertive, but don’t be the bad guy.” This was always something I heard from my dad while I was the Senior Patrol Leader with my Boy Scout troop, and it’s something that’s stuck with me to this day. So today, I’m going to elaborate more on what that phrase means and how to properly apply it to any leadership position any of you reading may hold in your life.

To start, it’s important to understand what this statement really means. But in all honesty, it’s pretty simple; it means exactly what it sounds like. As a leader, it’s important to be assertive and enforce the rules, but it’s equally as important to have those under his tutelage respect and look up to him. Any team, class, or anything else with a leader who can do this effectively can get so much more out of their efforts than one whose leader doesn’t have his comrades respect him. It’s essentially a two-way street. If the team respects the leader, the leader will respect his team. This will lead to a better and more effective performance from the team as whole.

Now that we’ve gone over what the statement actually means, let’s move onto what I’m sure most of you came to see: how to actually employ this statement to your own leadership position. Now, there are quite a few different ways this strategy can be utilized, but I believe the simplest and most effective way to do so is exactly the same way I described it in my 15 Rules article. That is, a leader should clearly outline the rules to his teammates and enforce them, but he should make it clear that he, the leader, is not at all above them. A true leader doesn’t view himself as superior or in any way above the rest of the team, he is simply another member of said team. If a leader simply does nothing but give commands and then sits back while the team does all the work, then he is no longer a leader, he is a dictator. As such, those under his command will soon come to resent him, which results in the exact opposite outcome of what I outlined above. So in short, while it is important to outline and enforce the rules, a true leader is not above said rules and in no way elevates himself above the other members of the team.

So there it is! I hope this gave you a bit more clarity on what I was trying to say in my original 15 Rules list. This was something that has stuck with me and helped me out in numerous situations throughout my life, and I think it will be a huge help to those of you reading this. In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s article. Please be sure to share the article, follow the blog, follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, and support us on Patreon. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!

The Necessity of Failure

Afternoon gents, it’s Max from the Young Gentleman’s Guide here! If you read my last article, you would know that one of the rules I put on that list is that there’s no shame in loss or failure. So for today’s article, I thought I would expand on that. Without any further delay, let’s get started!

To start off, it’s important to know this sobering fact: loss and failure are simply a part of life. Sometimes, it’s just not possible for things to always go the way you want them to. Whether it’s a sporting event, an audition, a job prospect, or anything of the sort, it’s simply not possible to win a hundred percent of the time. But of course, in today’s day and age, where you’ll be rewarded just for showing up, that sting of failure is being seriously downplayed. What people today seem to be forgetting is that “The road to victory… is paved with losses.” This is what makes losing so important.

There are two things you can do if you lose or fail. You can wallow in pity and shame, which is reasonably understandable, or you can pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and use that loss as a way to improve. If you lose a sporting event, that makes for a perfect opportunity for you and your team to review your game plan and see where it went wrong. If you don’t get that part you were looking for after your audition, it’s a good chance to improve your practice techniques and pinpoint what exactly went wrong. If you get passed up for that certain job you were looking for, you can use it as a chance to change things on your resume, switch up your interview strategy, or simply look for another job that properly utilizes your skill set. Yes, failure can hurt, losing can sting like nothing else. But being praised for “doing your best” and simply being awarded for participating is no way to get ahead. It doesn’t teach competitiveness, ambition, or perseverance. All it does is glorify complacency, and teach legions of people that as long as you show up, that’s enough. That isn’t how the world should work. People need to be taught that even though it may hurt to fail, it’s necessary to do so, since it makes those successes much sweeter and much more rewarding.

Apologies if that sounded a bit too harsh and direct, there are just certain topics that really speak to me, and this is one of those topics. If nothing else, I hope this gave those of you reading at least a little bit of a perspective shift to show that there is no shame in loss or failure.In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s article. Please be sure to share the article, follow the blog, follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, and support us on Patreon. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!