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Gentleman's Philosophy

Lessons in Manliness from the Vikings: Silence

Evening Gents, it’s Jonah from The Young Gentleman’s Guide here!

Today is my first blog post. I’ll be running a series of posts on lessons from Viking mythology and culture, taken from literature and historical reports, because I love history, literature, mythology, and stories in general.

“But Jonah, the Vikings were little more than barbarian warriors who ravaged the coasts of England!”

Not so, dear reader, not so.

The Vikings, or more properly, the Norse, were a Germanic people from Scandinavia who excelled at seafaring, trading, exploration, navigation, and yes, fighting. However, many aspects of Norse culture may surprise you, some things which I will explore over the next few weeks. You will find that we have much to learn from the Norse.

Like many cultures, the Norse had a  rich tradition of stories handed down from generation to generation, often in poetic form. The most common poetic form in those days was alliterative, meaning lines would contain many words starting with the same syllable. Many of these works were written down and adapted by the Icelandic poet Snorri Sturluson in the twelfth century.

One of these poems was called the Hávamál, which means “Sayings of the High One”. The first eighty verses are wisdom sayings, everyday maxims which were said to be told by the Norse god Odin in the myths. They are concerned with hospitality, etiquette, and living well. The Norse considered etiquette and courtesy a matter of honor.

For the first post, I will write about the value of silence. The Norse knew that to listen more than to speak is powerful.

For example, the 7th stanza of the Sayings of the High One advises,

7. “A wary guest to refection comes, keeps a cautious silence, and with his eyes observes: so explores every prudent man.”

A little context: the word refection is similar to refreshment, and means “refreshment by food or drink” (dictionary.com.) In this context, it is used in a party setting – a gathering at someone’s house or hall with food and drinks involved.

Consider also stanza 29:

29. “He utters too many futile words who is never silent; a garrulous tongue, if it be not checked, sings often to its own harm.”

If a person speaks overmuch, his words will not be taken as seriously. Also if a person talks excessively, he may say things that he regrets, things that hurt  other people, or cast a discolored light on his own reputation.

The Norse understood this, and that is why it was thought wise to be silent and listen more then you speak. If you speak less, your words will mean more. To be silent a little more often means letting other people speak and express their ideas. This shows that you value the other person in the conversation, and showing that respect is what being a gentleman is all about.

Speaking less in conversation also trains us to be good listeners, and to be humble. We ought not to be the center of every conversation. We will learn much by listening to what people have to say. We could learn profound things about who a person is, or realize important life lessons in a few words –  things we may have missed if we spoke more, or thought only, “What will I say next?”

To speak less is to be selfless, which is what a gentleman does – puts others ahead of himself. Again, selflessness is what being a gentleman, what being a man, is all about.

So let’s all speak less in conversation and listen more.

I hope you all enjoyed reading today’s post. Please be sure to share the post, follow the blog, and follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on Facebook and Instagram. And on that note, this is Jonah Blessum from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!

 

 

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Gentleman's Philosophy

A Real Man is a Family Man

Evening gents! It’s Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide here, here to talk about fatherhood, of all things. So, I just watched a video from Prager University on YouTube which I’ll link to right here. It talks about father characters in pop culture and how their qualities and character traits are what every man should strive to emulate. I thought I would take this idea and run with it, and give my take on the benefits of getting hitched and starting a family, using examples from these pop culture dads. With this post, I’m not saying that becoming a husband and father is the only thing you young gents should be or aspire to be. With this post, I only hope to give you some info on how and why becoming a father can make you a better man. If you don’t wish to be a father, you are completely in your rights to do so. But for any of you wanting or hoping to be a family man, here are three (3) ways being a husband and a father can make you a true man, using famous fathers from pop culture.

1. It Teaches Selflessness

When you choose to get married and are ready to begin your own family, it’s obviously a huge commitment. Choosing to spend the rest of your life with someone and procreating with that person takes a lot of bravery, trust, and most of all, selflessness. If you look at some of the most famous father characters in movies or TV, they show this trait in spades. Whether you’re talking Ward Cleaver from Leave it to Beaver, Mike Heck from The Middle, or my personal favorite, Jack Arnold from The Wonder Years, they are some of the most selfless characters I’ve ever seen in any sort of media. They will bend over backwards to help provide for their families, and no matter what choices they make, the safety and well-being of their family always comes first. They almost always put their wives and children before themselves. This is because providing for the family and putting them ahead of himself is the traditional role of the father (though hardcore SJWs may try to convince you otherwise), and once you make the decision to have a family, it’s no longer completely about you. Marriage and fatherhood make you part of a team, and the well-being of the team overall should have precedence over the well-being of the individual.

2. It Develops a Strong Work Ethic

Since it is the traditional role of the father to provide for the family, it would obviously hard to do so if you don’t have a job. So, if you decide to get hitched, you’d clearly want to provide for your spouse up to the point of buying a house for the two of you. That motivation alone will drive you to work more, get promoted, save more money. And when you and your spouse decide to have have a child, it will only mean more money has to come in. Even just the motivation of providing for one’s family, or even thinking of starting one is enough for a man to turn over a new leaf and revamp their work ethic. You can bet that some of pop culture’s best dads demonstrate some of the strongest work ethics I have ever seen. George Bailey from It’s a Wonderful Life worked his butt off to help fix up a house for him and his wife, whom he loved more than anything. Going beyond that house fix-up, he only expanded his business to the point where he was able to develop a comfortable living for his wife and four (4) children. Bob Cratchit from the holiday classic A Christmas Carol was extremely dedicated to his work under Ebeneezer Scrooge, as little as he made. Why? Because he loved his family and wanted to provide for them! Even with his miniscule income, his family always appreciated his efforts to provide, and they always loved him no matter what his income. That seems like an admirable role model if I’ve ever seen one.

3. Women Like Fatherly Traits

This is basically paraphrasing from the Prager University video, so I am not about to take credit for anything I’m about to say. With that out of the way, ask any woman past her teen years what she looks for in a man. What will she say? While she probably won’t explicitly say names like Ward Cleaver, George Bailey, Jack Arnold, or Mike Brady, she will most likely list traits that most, if not all, these characters show. She’d most likely say that he’s dependable, kind, and smart. To quote the PragerU video, he’s “confident, but not smug. He’s funny and capable of laughing at himself. He’s successful at work, but not a workaholic. He loves children but isn’t a child himself.” While it’s impossible to speak for every woman, there is a prevailing trend that show that women are attracted to these father-like traits. So gents, if you’ve been wondering how to find a date, there you go.

So there it is! Again, please do no mistake this is me forcing any of you to become fathers. Like I said, I know that marriage isn’t for everybody, and you don’t have to get married if you don’t want to. This is just meant to show what being a father can teach you, and why even if you choose not to be a father, their traditional traits are those that every man should emulate. In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s post. Please be sure to share the post, follow the blog, and follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on Facebook and Instagram. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!

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Gentleman's Philosophy

What Catholicism has Taught me, and What it can Teach Other Gentlemen

Welcome back gents! It’s Max from the Young Gentleman’s Guide here, back from my not-so-long hiatus to bring you some more advice on how to be true gentlemen! Unfortunately, since I’m currently swamped with classes and projects at San Francisco State, I’ll have to cut back to one post a week, at least until our new admin starts (more info on that to come). Anyways, onto the topic of today’s post, which hopefully I won’t get shot over!

A disclaimer; while I myself have a Catholic background and upbringing, which will obviously influence just about everything in this post, it is not meant to push any kind of Catholic or Christian agenda. It is only my intent to share my life experiences and show how the teachings and messages of the Catholic faith could possibly help other young, up-and-coming gentlemen. If you hold any other religious or spiritual beliefs, or are even an atheist, that’s fine. I am in no way trying to convert you, condemn you, or pass judgement on you. You are entitled to believe in whatever you want to believe.

So with that out of the way, let’s get on to what the Catholic faith can teach you young gents!

1. Basic Moral Values

I feel like this should be fairly common knowledge. The basis for most modern western law can be traced back the the Bible. Specifically the book of Exodus and the Ten Commandments. While it is true that some of modern western law has had its influence from some places other than the Ten Commandments, it’s no doubt that those Commandments had the strongest influence. For instance, in just about every developed western nation, most forms of murder are illegal. This comes directly from the Sixth Commandment, “You shall not murder.” Most forms of robbery and theft are illegal too, branching from the Eighth Commandment, “You shall not steal.” And while not not being explicitly enforced by the law, most of the other Ten Commandments are still very pervasive throughout western ideals and morality. In many western societies, adultery is usually frowned upon taken directly from the Seventh Commandment “You shall not commit adultery.” The same goes for feelings of jealousy. Jealousy has been shown constantly to affect people in negative way, and the idea that you shouldn’t feel jealous comes straight from the Tenth Commandment, “You shall not covet.” I could keep going, but I think I’ve made my point. Whether or not you believe in God, follow the Bible, or follow the teachings of Jesus, it’s almost impossible to deny that the most basic laws and moralities that you can’t live without branched at least in part from Christian teachings, which how I largely learned about basic moral code. Without the Ten Commandments, I don’t think I could’ve made it very far in life not knowing what’s ethical and what isn’t. And while much of modern law is based on the Ten Commandments and I strive every day to abide by the laws of my nation, the Commandments have shown me how important obeying the law and having upstanding morals actually is.

2. Traditional Family Values

Call me an old soul, but as a person raised on traditional family values, with two biological parents who, to this day, are still married and living under the same roof, I believe in those same family values and that said values should be preserved. It is almost impossible to deny the benefits of families, whether you’re growing up in one or are starting one of your own. Families are the building blocks of society. Children who grow up in traditional families (having been raised by two biological parents) are far less likely to drop out of school, exhibit behavioral disorders, or live in poverty.  And if there’s one thing that the Bible and/or general Catholic teaching defends in spades, it’s the traditional family! One of the best examples is this: which says “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8). With this passage in mind, even if you take out the faith aspect of it, this reflects the majority of people’s ideas about fostering a family. If you saw a parent, mother or father, ignore their child and only provide for themselves, what would you think of them? You would most likely see them as a horrible, selfish person. Again, whether or not you believe in God or follow the Bible, the idea of the traditional family is a cornerstone of our entire civilization, it just so happens that I was taught such a thing through Catholic teachings. With the help of the church and my parents, who are both also Catholic, I was able to learn how integral families are to the building of societies and civilization, and why it’s important to uphold traditional family values.

3. Patience and tolerance

Now, when a lot of people think or Catholicism or Christianity, they think of possibly the most intolerant group of people in modern society. And while yes, there are certains sects of Christianity that are objectively intolerant, growing up with Catholic teachings and on Catholic values seems to have taught me the exact opposite. This passage essentially sums it up:

“As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.  One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him.  Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand” (Romans 14:1-4).

This seems to pretty strongly advocate for tolerance, doesn’t it? It’s literally saying not to judge another person simply because they have different beliefs than you. It almost serves as a preamble to Pope Francis’ controversial statement about gay people in the church, “Who am I to judge?” But it doesn’t stop there. There’s also this: “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains” (James 5:7).  Again, even if you take the God aspect of it, the message is still fairly clear; those who are patient will be rewarded. While a lot of people can learn patience and tolerance at school or through common sense, which I did to a certain extent, it was the church, my youth ministers, and other ministers at my parish that have taught me not to judge others, and that being patient and working hard will reap the best benefits.

So there it is! Those are three things that I learned through my Catholic upbringing. While I’m not denying that you can learn these things through normal society and common sense, the church was simply the vessel that allowed me to learn such things. So, no matter what your beliefs, I encourage you to simply keep an open mind. Even if you don’t believe in God, the Bible, or anything in between, there are still some good things that the Bible and the church teach even if you take out the faith aspect of those teachings. At any rate, thank you for reading today’s post, it is good to be back! Be sure to share the post with your friends, follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on Facebook and Instagram, and also send an e-mail to younggentlemansguide@gmail.com to send us some feedback or suggestions for future posts! And with that in mind, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!

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Gentleman's Philosophy

The True Value of Marriage

Afternoon gents, it’s Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide here! So, I recently watched a video from a young woman on YouTube known as Roaming Millennial about how modern feminism is ruining the importance of marriage and families in today’s society. I’ll link to the video right here https://youtu.be/tZ-eR5IuZ7w

Now, while I myself have my own opinions on the modern feminist movement, I completely agree with what Roaming Millennial says in her video. I even share in her mentality in the sense that, ever since I was a kid, I have wanted to be a husband and a father, and that’s what the majority of my plans revolve around. While not necessarily a response to the video, I would like to throw my hat into the ring, and give you gents a few reasons why marriage is possibly more important now than ever before. There are a number of benefits that come from marriage, which can range from legal and financial to emotional and psychological benefits. With this in mind, let’s jump into it! (Not intending to steal a quote from Philip DeFranco)

First, let’s start with the legal and financial benefits. According to many statistics, married couples make an average of 10%-40% more money than their unmarried peers. Not only that, but it has also been shown that it is easier for two people to provide for themselves on a combined income than it is for a single person to do so on a single income. From a legal standpoint, there are even more benefits. Being someone’s spouse allows you to visit your spouse in the emergency room or urgent care even after legal visiting hours (this also applies to the delivery room later down the line), you can more easily divide business and estate assets among your family, and you or your spouse can claim benefits from each other from things like insurance claims, social security, and the like. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, there is also a wealth of emotional, psychological, and social benefits that can come out of the knot.

First and foremost, marriage ultimately leads to a longer lifespan. Multiple studies have shown that married couples live an average of ten (10) years longer than their unmarried counterparts. While it is also shown that married people also get gray hair earlier, to me, that sounds like a pretty fair trade. Moving on, marriage also leads to better general mental health. Married men are significantly less likely to commit suicide, married couples have lower levels of depression, and married men drink less than single men, which obviously lowers their chances to develop alcoholism later in life. Married couples are also less likely to experience domestic abuse and violence. and while some of you may be asking why “cohabiting” isn’t just as viable, cohabiting couples just simply don’t have that same level of commitment. As opposed to married couples, cohabiting, unmarried couples are more likely to experience infidelity, are more likely to contract STDs, and are less likely to keep tabs on each other. While it’s obviously not very healthy to keep tabs on your spouse every waking moment of every day, it is still a good idea to keep up with your significant other’s general well-being. Did they go to the dentist? Did they finish what they had to for work? Did they take their medication? Did they go shopping? These are all very important questions that married couples in general put more emphasis on. So despite all these benefits, why is it that the rate of marriage has been steadily decreasing over the past few decades, and why are significantly fewer people having kids today? Most likely the biggest culprit is modern feminism.

While I clearly cannot speak for any modern feminist, it’s pretty clear that a majority of them nowadays are anti-marriage and anti-family. Back in the 1950s or 60s, hearing a woman, or anyone, say that they’d like to get married and start a family would raise literally no questions whatsoever. But in today’s society, the overall idea of marriage is seen as a glorified form of misogyny and slavery in the eyes of most modern feminists. Any woman today who shows even the slightest interest in being a wife or a mother is seen as, disempowered, who doesn’t even deserve the right to be called a woman. And just for the record, it’s my belief that any woman who says that being a mother isn’t in any way empowering has clearly never been a mother themselves. Now don’t misunderstand me, I know that marriage isn’t for everybody. And I’m also not saying that people should be forced to get married right out of high school if they don’t want to and are not ready (which does happen quite a lot all over the world, but that’s a completely different can of worms). However, the benefits that can come out of marriage and the importance of the familial unit is being dangerously undermined in today’s society, thanks to modern feminists. In a world where it is essentially our job to teach the next generation and prepare them for the future, modern feminists seem to be fighting the idea of there being a next generation just to serve their own entitlement.

So there it is! Hopefully this post has at least given you a different viewpoint on the prospect of marriage, and that you at least learned something. An to any of you gents reading this who are married or plan on getting married, my congratulations to you, and I hope that you and your wives have a long and happy life together. In any case, thank you so much for reading today’s post from The Young Gentleman’s guide, and nothing would make me happier than if you shared this post with a friend, followed the blog, and checked out The Young Gentleman’s Guide on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!

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Gentleman's Philosophy

Why I Eat Meat (And How Other Men Could Benefit from Eating Meat)

Afternoon gents! This is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and today I’d like to talk about something rather controversial: eating meat. Now, it should be no surprise to anyone that this overall idea has been hotly debated in recent years. The moral, environmental, and health consequences of eating meat and other animal products have come into quite a lot of debate, thanks mostly to the rise of the internet. So today, I’d like to take my stance on eating meat and animal products and why consuming such products can be beneficial, if done in moderation. And if any of you reading this happen to be vegetarians or vegans, please do not misinterpret this as attacking those groups or ideologies. I believe that there can be certain health benefits to only eating plants and grains and avoiding animal products. However, I do not believe that those benefits outweigh the benefits of including meat in your diet. But without further ado, let’s get to the rest of the post. Here are three (3) of the biggest reasons why I eat meat and how other gentlemen can benefit from it: there are certain vitamins and nutrients that only come from meat products. (And it’s not a double-entendre, it’s just a dietary preference. Perverts ;D)

1. There are vitamins and nutrients that can only be found in meat products

This is the possibly the biggest argument in support of animal products. There are a number of nutrients that can only be found in animal products. Among these nutrients are Vitamin B12, creatine, and Vitamin D3. Vitamin B12 is shown to be involved with the function of almost every cell in the human body, and is largely involved in the formation of blood and brain matter. Creatine is a sort of energy reserve for our cells, and while it is produced naturally by the liver, the amount produced by it isn’t sufficient enough to provide enough energy the body regularly needs. Vitamin D3 is a variant of Vitamin D found in meat and eggs. While Vitamin D can produced naturally by exposing our skin cells to sunlight, Vitamin D3 is a viable substitute in the event you don’t get enough sunlight. Also, while another variant, Vitamin D2 is found in plants, most doctors have found that D3 is more effective. And by now you may be asking, why not take supplements? While that is a good option, it’s my belief that these nutrients are better for you if they come from the meat products themselves. What many people don’t know is that many commercially sold vitamin supplements are produced artificially, and I practically live my life by the rule that natural is and always will be better than artificial. And all of this is really the only explanation I have as to how I and other men can benefit from eating meat. All the rest are just my personal reasons why I eat meat.

2. It’s perfectly fine in moderation and while remaining health conscious

There’s no denying it, it’s just a fact: some countries, particularly the United States and Australia consume way too much meat. Despite all the benefits that I just listed above, they will mean absolutely nothing if you don’t remain health conscious. The reason many vegans associate meat eaters with things like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and the like is because the only examples they look at are those people who almost exclusively eat meat or are not very health conscious. What a lot of vegans seem to overlook, however, is that there are many meat eaters who are just as health conscious, if not more so, than many vegans are. My dad for example, has been eating meat ever since he was a kid. He goes out mountain bike reading at least twice a week and it still working as fifty (50) years old, and he has one of the cleanest hearts his doctor has ever seen, and he is still in fantastic shape, being nowhere near overweight. Another thing people need to keep in mind is that moderation is everything. Admittedly, this is something I myself need to work on. While I don’t believe in cutting meat out of your diet entirely, eating it in moderation and balancing it with your consumption of plants and grains is just as important as the aforementioned vitamins and nutrients themselves. So, while the consumption of meat can be very beneficial, you just need to remember to remain health conscious and that moderation is everything.

3. Humans have evolved to eat meat

Despite what many vegans may argue, humans by their nature are omnivores (animals that ingest both meat and plants for food). The fact that the human stomach is able to dissolve meat and that our digestive tract can digest it should be enough evidence in and of itself, but there are other evolutionary traits that show it too. Humans have developed incisors and canines, teeth that are specifically designed for tearing through meat. However, this does not mean people should start swearing off meat, as there are other evolutionary traits, like molars in the back of our mouths, that allow us to grind up plant matter. There’s no arguing it, humans are meant to ingest both meat and plants.

So there it is! Three (3) reasons why I eat meat, and how other young men could benefit from eating meat (and animal products). With there being certain nutrients that can only be found in animal products, and that it’s fine in moderation, there are so many benefits that can come from eating meat. Again, if any of you reading this happen to be vegans or vegetarians, do not misinterpret any of this as hate or oppression towards your community or ideologies. If you genuinely believe that a diet devoid of meat and animal products is healthier, I have no problem with that. I’m just trying to outline why I’ve chosen to stick with the “social norm” of eating meat. But in any case, thank you for reading this post! I apologize for being absent for so long, I’m a young college student who was in the thick of finals in the past few weeks, but now that my semester is over, I should have a lot more time to post! With that in mind, be sure to follow the blog and make sure to follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. On that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!