alternate perspectives

Understanding the species Gentleman


You hear it everywhere these days: the term “gent” or “gentleman” has become ubiquitous in men’s magazines, blogs, and conversations. Videos welcome “gentlemen” and everybody seems to use the word for a wide range of men.
Some say that anything other than the traditional definition of a gentleman is a disappointment. Other claim that a gentleman must have staff and would never cook for himself.
Well I couldn’t disagree more – the definition of a gentleman has changed and for the better. Since the definition of a gentleman is so fundamental to what Gentleman’s Essentials stands for, I thought it was time to explain the way we understand what a gentleman is. For this excursion, I’d like to take you back…

The Origin
Hundreds of years ago, a gentleman was a man of high social position and wealth. Even dictionaries today point to this definition, as well as several others:
1. A chivalrous, courteous, or honorable man.
2. A polite or formal way of referring to a man.
3. A man of noble birth attached to a royal household
4. A man of good social position, especially one of wealth and leisure
5. A courteous title for a male fellow member of the House of Commons or the House of Representatives

So what does it really mean? There is much more to being a gentleman than mere courtesy; traditional acts of chivalry can come off as condescending, and “honor” is a highly relative concept.
These days, the title “gentleman” is no longer relevant as an indication of one’s refinement and character, as it was once assumed to be for men of wealth and title who didn’t have to work for a living.
In our opinion, the term is far more egalitarian, and these days, to say you are a gentleman means you have to earn it. Wealth and power are no longer enough, and in fact, they simply aren’t a relevant part of the modern definition. 

Money and position can’t buy you class or respect.

The Definition of a Modern Gentleman
The term is far more complicated, and we think it’s important to shed some light on why and how we use it, and why the definition of the modern gentleman matters.
We firmly believe any man can be a gentleman if he wants to be, but it’s not a small undertaking. It’s a journey, something that a man continually strives to be, rather than a destination. A gentleman is/ has:

1 A Gentleman Has Good Manners: Here, we agree with the dictionary. A gentleman is courteous, polite, and respectful. He says please and thank you, waits his turn in line, and treats others as they wish to be treated. He is an equitable conversation partner.

2 A Gentleman Has High Standards. High standards push people to do the best they can, and gentlemen set them for themselves. A gentleman expects a high standard of quality, value, and functionality from the things he buys to the things he does. He expects as much of himself as he does of other people.

3 A Gentleman is Well Dressed: This one shouldn’t be a surprise. A well-dressed man is appropriately attired based on the season, the occasion, and his own style. Dressing well isn’t a matter of money for a gentleman, but rather of careful curation of clothing and accessories based on his means, the occasion, and his tastes. His dress demonstrates that he recognizes the power of clothes the impression they make, and the role they play in society. Clothes are used to convey a gentleman’s respect for his host, his office, or for the host of an event, but not to shock, evoke jealousy, or show off. Dressing well is a point of pride for a gentleman because it demonstrates his personality and taste.

4 A Gentleman is Imperfect. This may be the most important characteristic on the list. The term “gentleman” isn’t meant to be an unattainable ideal; it takes into account basic human nature, in which we all make mistakes, choices, and judgments every day. The difference lies in that a gentleman does not believe himself to be perfect, but instead takes ownership and responsibility for the things he can control: his actions, knowledge, and approach to the world.

5 A Gentleman is Open Minded: A gentleman does not believe that his opinions and knowledge are complete and unquestionable. He strives to learn, is open to new ideas, accepts constructive criticism, and welcomes failure as a path to growth and self-awareness. A gentleman does not argue purely for the pleasure of being right but focuses on is able to put himself in other people’s shoes for the purposes of understanding an alternate perspective from his own.
he person who cut you off on the highway may have received bad news; a friend may not respond to your call because they are behind at work – a gentleman tries not to jump to negative conclusions about other people.

6 A Gentleman is Interesting and Informed: These days it is easy to get lost in the cycle of sleep-work-netflix-repeat that deprives people of anything interesting to say. An interesting man can successfully carry a conversation about a number of subjects, is interested in the world around him and how it works, and actively seeks to grow his knowledge for his own character building and enjoyment. Hobbies and personal interests reveal his passions and his engagement with activities that are meaningful to him.

7 A Gentleman’s Actions Match His Words. Quite simply, a gentleman makes promises that he intends to keep.

8 A Gentleman Treats People with Respect: When we say people, we mean everyone – women, colleagues, superiors, waitstaff and customer service people. This reflects a gentleman’s belief that all people are created equal; he does not claim to have more or fewer rights than those around him. He is compassionate with those less fortunate than himself. He doesn’t believe that the world is a zero-sum game, nor does he believe that putting someone else down will lift him up.

9 A Gentleman Recognizes the Difference Between Arrogance and Confidence. If an arrogant man who believes himself to be of superior importance relies on his opinion of himself relative to others. A gentleman believes in himself and his abilities independently of other people. An arrogant man must always win to feel validated while a gentleman self-validates from within. 

10 A Gentleman Wields Power Purposefully. Though there are many potential sources for the statement “with great power comes great responsibility,” there is an inherent truth in it for a gentleman. If he is in a position of power, he combines all of the above traits to utilize that power purposefully and not selfishly. Not for revenge, not for his own personal gain, and not in a way that tramples the rights of others.

So why does this all matter? It matters because being a gentleman sets a high bar for men, us included, to actively work towards every day. Rather than being a destination, it’s an aspiration that comes from the lifetime pursuit of personal betterment, self-awareness, and motivation.
The highest achievement is to be recognized as a gentleman by those around you, since at it’s core it is an honor conferred only by other people. We use the term gentleman frequently, and we think it should mean something. It’s not just a way to address other men; it’s a statement about who we are and who we want to be.

The Challenges of Being a Gentleman in Everyday Life
While all of this sounds admirable, living up to those ideals day in and day out can become quite challenging at times. When a man is in a bad mood, stressed or tired, he may say or do things that are out of character. In those situations it is important to apologize to others and if it is sincere people will accept it. I know what I am talking about because I certainly have my fair share of ungentlemanly failures.

What’s good in a debate or an argument:

  • Giving an alternate perspective to the other person’s positions/beliefs
  • Giving and explaining relevant sources about an issue
  • Criticising the other person’s positions/opinions/etc
  • Debunking incorrect claims or outright lies
  • Pointing out and criticising hypocrisy

What’s fairly neutral in a debate or an argument:

  • Being sarcastic and/or bitchy
  • Annoying or childish name-calling
  • Tagging someone else to show them what’s going on/so they can offer their insight and/or add additional sources
  • Adding gifs or silly memes

What’s unacceptable in a debate or an argument:

  • Suicide-baiting
  • Threats of violence
  • Deliberately going out of your way to genuinely trigger the other person (especially if they’ve expressly stated that a particular thing is a genuine trigger)
  • Mocking the other person’s appearance
  • Any anonymously-sent abuse or genuine harassment or encouraging others to send abuse or genuine harassment
  • Falsely claiming that the other person is a bigot/abuser/paedophile/etc over literally nothing but their fictional likes
  • Randomly accusing the other person of being a bigot/Nazi/etc without any actual reason or genuine proof

Men are socialized since birth to think their feelings and thoughts are the objective truth. 

They are taught they are generally right about something, unless contradicted by another male with equal or more authority. Men subconsciously believe they are firmly right about things so much they won’t even consider alternative perspectives unless it comes from a place of higher authority.

Men are socialized to believe women are inherently wrong, and that is why women are “crazy”, because it is so difficult for men to even consider the possibility that they don’t know shit. 

This is why men often offer strong opinions on topics they just heard about, especially if they’re contradicting a woman. 

This is because people will respect a man’s opinion and give his words weight even if he has zero background in the subject because men are considered credible by default. 

Women are considered wrong by default and must argue their way to display their truth, no matter how strong their credentials.

Men probably have to tell themselves they’re logical all the time just to keep up the lie that feeds their ego. 

Thinking is difficult work for a man who is used to instantly being told he is right, while women are constantly being argued against and therefore exploring the topics more deeply and doing more thinking.

 this excellent summary of the problem is from witwitch - please write more!

Men are socialized since birth to think their feelings and thoughts are the objective truth.

They are taught they are generally right about something, unless contradicted by another male with equal or more authority. Men subconsciously believe they are firmly right about things so much they won’t even consider alternative perspectives unless it comes from a place of higher authority.

Men are socialized to believe women are inherently wrong, and that is why women are “crazy”, because it is so difficult for men to even consider the possibility that they don’t know shit.

This is why men often offer strong opinions on topics they just heard about, especially if they’re contradicting a woman.

This is because people will respect a man’s opinion and give his words weight even if he has zero background in the subject because men are considered credible by default.

Women are considered wrong by default and must argue their way to display their truth, no matter how strong their credentials.

Men probably have to tell themselves they’re logical all the time just to keep up the lie that feeds their ego.

Thinking is difficult work for a man who is used to instantly being told he is right, while women are constantly being argued against and therefore exploring the topics more deeply and doing more thinking.

this excellent summary of the problem is from witwitch - please write more!


Ever been confused about Draconic Charts?  We all have been as there is very little information out there about them.  The Draconic chart is the soul chart and for those who believe in Esoteric Astrology indicates past life tendencies relived early in life.  The basic nature of a Draconic Chart shows a summary or who you were and how you acted up until the teenage years.  The draconic chart is the normal chart realigned with north node at 0 degrees Aries.  It is re-aligned based on the sign and degree your natal north node is in.  

A basic example of how a Draconic chart works would be natal North Node in Cancer 0 degrees shifting all of the signs 90 degrees in the Draconic chart. This happens quite simply because to get to 0 degrees Aries for the Draconic chart, every planet is shifted 90 degrees to get to the zero point.  So this shows a very important factor; only planets in signs change in Draconic charts and the aspects completely stay the same.

One must remember the birth chart is a snapshot of what we are growing into in this lifetime.  The planets in signs (and ascendant) show the basic qualities of how we acted up through our teenage years.  You may create a synastry chart between your Draconic and Natal chart to see how your inward planetary energies between youth and adulthood assist or hinder one another.  This method (if you so believe) can show whether you are continuing a theme of a past life or growing away from who you were.

Due to the basic nature of a Draconic Chart it is imperative to understand the degrees of angles stay the same as they are in the natal chart.  The only thing that can change is the sign of the actual planets and the ascendant in the Draconic chart.  This is because the are  based on the degree of the Node in the natal chart and “Shift accordingly”.  


Examples of how North Node natally in the signs play out Draconically :

(Important! The Draconic ascendant must stay in the same elemental family of your natal Ascendant.  If the degrees of the North Node and Ascendant natally cause your draconic ascendant to shift to a different element than your birth ascendant new conditions are created.  In this case I suggest going to the bottom of this post and reading about how Ascendant’s aspecting one another in Draconic/Natal synastry alter the picture.)

If the North Node is in a Fire sign of Aries, Leo or Sagittarius it increases the chances that how you acted in your teenage years carries through to adulthood. Why?  This is because when the Draconic Chart is re-aligned all of the planets in signs will be in a trine-like configuration with the natal planets. They will naturally create someone who may act the same throughout life. This may indicate reliving conditions of a past life so you can carry on something you already started.   

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anonymous asked:

Do you have a favorite guide? something like "Story Plotting for Idiots" type thing? I think I'm pretty well read in terms of lit and movies and such. But I'm at a loss as to where to start to start working on my own. I have TONS of ideas, always have, but the organizing of something longer than say, 500 words always gets bogged down. HALP?

I guess the closest thing to a favourite writing guide that i have is Stephen King’s On Writing, though there’s less ‘this is how to do writing’ and more ‘this is how Stephen King does writing’. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you think of it, there’s no single way to approach writing that is going to work for everyone, it’s all very subjective and personal.

Even going from one project to another, sometimes the same approach won’t work, it’s a matter of what works for you at that moment, for that project.

You can google ‘how to write’ and you’ll come up with dozens of ‘foolproof’ guides and approaches, ‘save the cat’ or ‘the snowflake method’ or a dozen other things. Some of them will have elements that will be helpful to you, and you should feel free to cherrypick what you need and discard the rest – these approaches are written by people for whom they’ve worked. If it doesn’t work for you don’t agonise over it, just move on, try another approach. Keep on plugging.

That said, the one approach that I’ve consistently been able to use and have work for me, is a very blunt approach. Similar to Stephen King’s ‘write three pages a day every day’, and sort of inspired by the whole NaNoWriMo approach to writing, “BICHAK” (Butt in chair, hands on keyboard).

I call it ‘tippy tappy’.

What I do, is I have my ‘outline’ – which is usually a single sentence describing what will happen in a scene, plus a couple of sentences about the emotional/ conflict outcomes that should come from that scene – and then I sit down, set a fifteen minute timer, and just type until the buzzer goes.

So long as you keep tippy tappying on the keyboard for the whole amount of time, you’ll have something to show for it. One scene at a time, one fifteen minute chunk at a time, and that’s pretty much the only way I get anything substantial done.

Now as to HOW to plot?

I seldom know exactly how my story is going to go, or how exactly it will end. I’ve talked about a Problem based approach to narrative, and I start with that, generally. Here is a Problem that is going to affect the characters, who are these people and how are they going to react to it, what is going to happen in their lives as a result of the problem?

I’ll use my current project as an example, I’m about 4000 words in, it will probably wind up being around 60-80k by the time it’s finished. My outline so far encompasses the first two chapters. At the moment I don’t know exactly what the antagonist is going to do, but I do know how to lead up to it.

My outline looks like this:

[Sorry about the blurring, I just wanted to show how I have it laid out without folks reading my awful notes!]

So I have an A4 notepad, ruled with a line down the middle, just for personal preference. In blue headings and green notes, I have my outline for chapter one. I’ve finished all but the last scene in chapter one, and I’m at 4000 words in the manuscript, so you can see it’s a fairly compact way to outline. 

The black heading and red notes is for chapter two. It also just happens that I’m writing from alternating perspectives between my two protagonists, so the different colours helps keep those two POVs distinct. I may or may not write a chapter or two from the antagonist’s perspective at some point, and when it gets to that I might pick a third colour set to write those in, depending on how complex my notes are to look at.

When outlining, the main thing that needs to happen is that you have to be able to tell at a glance what you’re up to and what you wanted to happen next. I quite often get into trouble because I’ll start writing an outline and then wind up accidentally writing on my outlining page, I get so caught up in details that I forget the longer-term goals that I set out intending to write down.

Using bullet points to keep outlines manageable is something else that I’ve found helps. Keeping things simple ‘Jack wants X but he’s conflicted about Y and that leads to trouble with Z’. These are just the notes to remind yourself of the path you’re going to take. And if you find a path that branches off in a direction you didn’t expect, but it looks more exciting? Take the branching path. Keep your old notes in case it leads to a dead end, but after wandering around you’re going to have more material to work with, and more material is always good.

No writing is wasted.

I have TONS of ideas, always have, but the organizing of something longer than say, 500 words always gets bogged down

Okay, having tons of ideas is a way better problem than having not enough ideas, so we can work with this. 500 words is a great starting point.

  • Pick your favourite ideas that you think will fit together.
  • Decide what you think the big Problem of the story is going to be, what do your characters need to resolve in order to have an ending?
  • In one sentence, write down what will happen in the first scene
  • In 1-3 sentences, write down how the main character will feel about it, what changes for them in the course of that scene, and what they want going forward.
  • Do the same for the next two or three scenes.
  • Sit down at your writing implement of choice (computer, notebook, stone tablet, etc)
  • Set a timer. You can start with ten minutes and work your way up. Sometimes I do 20 minute or 30 minute stretches, but mostly I find that 15 minutes works best for me, personally.
  • Close all windows except for your writing project, pause netflix, turn the tv off. Have your outline beside you.
  • Start the timer and until it goes off you’re either writing, or you’re staring at the blank page. Trust me, writing is a whole lot better than looking at a blank page.
  • Keep writing. Tippy tappy.
  • When the timer goes off, go get a drink, walk around. Look at facebook or scroll tumblr, whatever you want to do.
  • Repeat until you have a novel.

Essentially, whatever system you pick can only take you so far, no matter how you organise it, writing a novel is a whole lot of just sitting down and writing. One letter after another until you have 80k words. Tippy tappy.

I find that not worrying too much about the whole novel helps. I just focus on the next 5000 words. I know what will happen in the next 5k, and I can write 500 words and then 500 words and then 500 words, and it adds up. 

The overarching Problem of the story keeps the gist of the scenes pointing in the right direction, and having the open-endedness of the plot as a whole means that if I suddenly discover a new direction as I’m writing I don’t have a whole bunch of outline work that I suddenly feel like I’m abandoning or losing.

Figuring out what outlining method works for you is going to take trial and effort, but you’ll get there. One scene at a time, one paragraph at a time. Every little bit will help you learn what you’re doing and what you want to do.