Gentlemanly New Year Resolutions (Part 2 of 2):
A Gentleman’s Resolve
by Teah Strandjord
I hope you found yourself bidding farewell to a successful and joy-filled 2011, and feel a sense of possibility moving into 2012. Hopefully you took some time to ponder your purpose and reflect on how you will measure your life. Now onto resolution making. If one of your resolutions is to become a better gentleman (which a true gent always aspires to be), below are 25 dauntless endeavors to consider. Turn your noble intention into action:
1. Memorize Rudyard Kippling's "If"
2. Plan a Man-Venture
Sea kayaking, sailing, sky diving, horseback riding, scuba diving, wind surfing, mountain climbing or backpacking. Bring your best friend, your brother or father. Man it up... with dignity.
3. Fight For a Cause
Volunteer. Donate. Because a gentleman cares. Some organizations: Charity:water. The Carter Center. SOME (So Others Might Eat). Harlem Children's Zone. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Some causes: Environmental issues. Animal rights. Education. Cancer research. Poverty and hunger. Visit Charity Navigator for your guide to intelligent giving.
4. Unplug And Connect
Take your mother or father to lunch. Meet your best friend for a coffee. Take a girl to a movie. Walk through the park. Gaze at the stars. When with people who matter to you, put the technology away and be fully present. A gentleman is conscious of how his actions make the people around him feel. And he doesn't want to miss out on the finer moments of life.
5. Take a Lady on a Picnic
Perhaps on bicycle. Or row her in a boat. Pick fresh flowers from the countryside.
6. Attend a Polo Tournament
Or horse races, a tennis match, or a sailing regada. Better yet? Participate. LaCrosse. Crew. Badminton. At least learn the rules and traditions. And yes, I said badminton. Learn about the Minneapolis Badminton Club vis-a-vis the Ralph Lauren Rugby blog MBC.
7. Make a Personal Man-ifesto
Then frame it. Look at it. Live it. And remember something that I truly believe: in the end let your mission be read not by the words you write but by how you’ve lived your life.
8. Go Green
9. Expand Your Vocabulary
By reading and circling words you don't know, then look them up in the dictionary (New York Times has a handy feature for this if you're reading online). Take note of what the gents around you are saying.
10. Visit the Tailor
11. Wear a Smoking Jacket
Not that I encourage smoking (because I don’t – it’s bad for your health), but the resurgence of this gentlemanly home-entertainment fashion accessory might suit you. Discover a history of the smoking jacket here. a12. Buy a Shaving Brush and MugThen master the art of the wet shave, a 200 year old man-routine. The tools, at least, look nice sitting out on your bathroom counter. And men like tools, right?
13. Send Handwritten Thank Yous
Check out the Forgetful Gentleman guide to articulate writing, then stock up on linen stationary and writing instruments worthy of your well-thought words. I assure you, recipients will take note.
14. Get Your Shoes Polished
15. Quote Winston Churchill
Or another well-thought man you hold in high regard. “A man does what he must - in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures - and that is the basis of all human morality.” "Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential." "I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else."
16. Open a Door for Someone
Especially for a lady. And perform other random acts of kindness. Like helping an elderly man, offering your seat to someone standing, or sharing your umbrella. Because, again, gentlemen are thoughtful.
17. See an Opera
Like a gentleman does. Like they do at Mashomack Club. Or learn the English way, where you can engage in "Bespoke field sports for the discerning" (be prepared for knee-high pants, a tie, and tweed). Visit Outside Days for more info. And if you're not into killing living things (like me) you can just shoot at clay pigeons.
19. Read the Newspaper
20. Explore the World of Wine
Learn how to pair, describe, pour, order, and enjoy this worldly age-old libation.
21. Support our Troops
Regardless your political persuasion, do the patriotic thing and support the men and women who risk everything for your freedom. It's respectful. And gracious. And right.
22. Listen to the Radio
(like the thing that's broadcast over electromagnetic spectrum)
23. Find an Author You Relate to
From Hemingway to Bret Easton Elis, there are excellent authors of all kinds for you to connect with. Expand your mind by selecting an author who appeals to you, and then READ!
24. Bring or Send Flowers to Someone
Tell the truth. Seek the truth. And when you find it, embrace the truth.
As you think about the year ahead, I pay forward words of my former boss and true gentleman (Eugene C. Sit), wisdom hard-earned by experience: eat what you make, support your troops, invest in education, and never stop believing in the American dream.aFinally, check back throughout the year as I expand on each of these 25 gentlemanly endeavors. Happy 2012!
A Custom Suit from Indochino - Part 2 →
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