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Becoming a gentleman: A lofty ambition or just false pretenses?

There are no shortcuts in the journey of becoming a truly refined gentleman.

Article contribution by Nazirul Ridzuan

Picture: © fxquardro on Freepix

Most aspects of human society were significantly contributed by men, who aren’t corrupted by greed and power, scholars and gentlemen who helped to shape the world we live in today. Unfortunately, truly refined gentlemen are a dying breed nowadays.

Now imagine you’re unwinding on a Sunday afternoon, scrolling through your Instagram feed and suddenly you stumbled upon a photo of a good-looking man wearing well-tailored clothes and sometimes he’s accompanied by a beautiful woman in such luxurious settings. Seeing this awakens your desire to be like him and you think this right here is a gentleman. Remember, looks can be deceiving.

Hate to break your bubble but being well-dressed alone isn’t enough to become a gentleman. A douchebag in a tuxedo is nothing but a douchebag, whereas a chivalrous and courteous gentleman in sport jacket is still a gentleman. First impressions do matter but possessing the right qualities and characteristics should be your main priority. There are no shortcuts in the journey of becoming a truly refined gentleman.

Picture: © Dorian Gray (2009), Momentum Pictures

In my observation, I noticed that the sole obsession among men regarding the aspect of gentleman appearance has hindered them from developing the qualities and characteristics of a refined gentleman. Is it possible that not being born wealthy, or into an aristocrat lineage with access to vast resources and gentry education, could be the reason behind this conundrum? Therefore, a gentleman appearance is the shortcut they were hoping for.

If I were to answer this question, I’d probably quote a line from the first Kingsman movie. In a scene where the protagonist, Eggsy, expressed that he is a pleb and can’t be a gentleman. And his stoic mentor, Harry Hart, reassured him with a brilliant reply:

“Being a gentleman has nothing to do with the circumstances of one's birth. Being a gentleman is something one learns”.

Picture: © Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014), 20th Century Fox

Therefore, the key here is learn how to become a refined gentleman. It’s practically free for you to be chivalrous, to learn proper manners, and to protect the defenseless. So, instead of working all the hours that God sends trying to look like a gentleman, shift your focus and effort towards mastering the fundamentals of a bona fide gentleman. I’ll be sharing some of the strategies in my next article.


Nazirul Ridzuan

I had just finished my tertiary education and was about to embark on a career in the financial industry when these exact words spoken by Harry “Galahad” Hart in Kingsman (2014), hit me with an epiphany. I have always find solitude in writing, most of the time privately, and when crafting assiduous captions on social media. Writing helps stimulate creative thinking and develop the ability to express myself effectively.

Currently, I am enjoying my endeavor at a fund management company in Kuala Lumpur, and having accumulated experience in project management and strategy. Outside my corporate journey, I am an agropreneur specializing in cultivation of the “King of Fruits”.

I aspire to become a CFA charterholder and a business leader. My passion includes networking, travelling, stoicism and lifelong learning.

Instagram: @nzrlrdzn

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