My son is 9 years old. He’s a typical boy who enjoys playing hockey, watching movies and playing video games. Left to his own devices, he’d probably develop into a decent guy. Really though, isn’t “decent” just another way of saying “pretty good”? Well, as a father, I can’t say that pretty good is good enough.
As his father, it is up to me and the other men in his life like his grandfathers, uncles and teachers, to show him how to be the best man he can be. It is up to us to teach him what it means to be a gentleman. As I see it, he’s already about ¾ the way to being of an age where our influence won’t particularly be enough to change his mind or actions, so time is short.
While he’s still young enough to see me as a role model and a paragon of manliness, I have decided to put down in writing all of the things which, in my opinion, he will need to know in order to become a gentleman for the 21st century.
I plan to do this by drawing on the lessons I learned from my own male role models such as my father and grandfathers, uncles, teachers and professors. In addition, I’ll draw on my experience as a leader in a professional work environment and as a author of training and learning materials. Finally, I’ll try and put down any great memories I have of my role models and the times in which I thought to myself “Yes, that’s the type of man I want to be”.
Along the way, we’ll have some laughs, probably some tears (it is, contrary to popular belief, occasionally okay to cry) and a few opportunities to look back at our formative moments and influences.
It’s my hope that by having these experiences and thoughts recorded in writing, he will be able to use them as a guide to manliness that will help him become a gentleman and eventually pass his knowledge on to his children (which, if I’m lucky, I won’t have to worry about for another ten or fifteen years).
I encourage you to join me along my son’s journey to manhood in this new section of the site, “Raising a Gentleman”. If you have suggestions or experiences you would like to share, please, feel free to contact me and help in writing the ultimate guide to raising a young gentleman.