From as far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a G. Being a G means having a code. The G-Code has always been referenced but never actually defined; it’s been this mythical set of rules, with no traceable author, that governs the actions of the men who adhere to it. The G-Code is so unknown, and so misunderstood that many of us don’t even know what the “G” in G-Code actually stands for. This sort of ambiguity can stand no longer. Today, I want to take the first steps in putting some parameters around the G-Code.
The first thing we must do is come to a decision around the “G.” “G” means so many different things in our culture. Sometimes it means “game” – or a particularly high capacity for rhetorical talk especially when it comes to women. Often times it means “gangster.” In this post-crack epidemic era we’ve grown up in, young black males are obsessed with being gangster. Our fashion is cocaine-chic and our varying ways of earning money are considered our ‘hustles’ (there’s the corporate hustle, the side-hustle… etc.). But we can’t in good conscience adopt a set of rules and regulations for manly behavior that’s based on our love for G-Sh*t; no we need something a little more encompassing. From this day forward, as far as I’m concerned – and I hope as far as anyone reading this is concerned – the “G” in “G-Code” is officially short for “Gentleman.” What we are working on today shall be known as “The Gentleman’s Code.”
Let’s get started:
For those not in the know “You can’t knock the hustle” is a colloquial phrase coined on Jay-Z’s seminal debut that is essentially defined as the act of passing judgment on how an individual earns. As long as it does not directly infringe on your ability to earn, a gentleman does not knock the hustle. We’ve all gotta eat and a gentleman is too focused on providing himself and those he cares about with the lifestyle they deserve to be concerned with what someone else is doing someplace else. But not knocking the hustle doesn’t just stop at how a man earns it also extends to many other facets of life. So long as you and those you care about aren’t negatively impacted, it is unacceptable to pass judgment on how another man manages his time, his interpersonal relationships, his women, his lifestyle, his work ethic or anything else. In all cases, because he is so focused on himself and those he cares about: A Gentleman Does Not Knock the Hustle.
Rule # 2: Chivalry Is Not Dead
You can’t call yourself a gentleman if you don’t believe in chivalry. Nobody’s asking you to lay your favorite blazer in a puddle so your woman can step off the curb but if you’re on a crowded train and a seat opens up, sitting down probably shouldn’t cross your mind. You should open doors, pull out chairs, stand upon introduction, walk on the outside, foot the bill during courtship unless she insists otherwise. This stuff should come as second nature to a gentleman. For me, it’s not even chivalry it’s just part of being well mannered; it’s how I was raised. I wouldn’t go to the kitchen and get myself a glass of iced tea without asking my grandmother if she wanted something so I wouldn’t go to the bar and get a drink without asking a woman in my company if she wanted something. Grams never had to open a door or worry about finding a seat while with me so neither would a woman who’s with me. It’s just good manners.
Rule # 3: A Gentleman Does Not Disparage Others
Ladies, beware the man who makes it a point to point out all of the flaws of the other men in your life. If a man is too comfortable casting aspersions on the other men in your life sirens should sound and red flags should go up. You should most definitely question the moral fiber of a man who pushes you down, but unquestionably worse than the man who pushes you down is the man who takes advantage of you while you’re there. A gentleman should not be comfortable consoling a weakened woman for the purposes of sleeping with her. She should like you for you, not because you make it a point to tell her how wack the other guys she deals with are. If a woman whom you have romantic inclinations toward has been hurt, there’s nothing wrong with helping her through hurt so long as you keep your ulterior motives at bay till she’s healed. And even while helping, try to avoid talking about the man, make it about her and leave it to her girlfriends to tell her how terrible that other guy was. Talking about how another man is doing a woman wrong, or how she could do better is a violation of rule # 1.
The only thing worse than seeing the devolution of a man during a fit of uncontrolled emotion is seeing that man make a poor decision because of it. This is why a gentleman does his best to maintain control of his emotions and in the rare instances when he can’t, uses discipline and self-control to temper the resulting decisions and actions with reason and logic. A gentleman should always be prepared to do whatever a situation might require and you can’t do that when when you’re blinded by emotion. It’s also impossible to trust a man who can’t control his emotions because his behavior is completely unpredictable.
Rule # 5: Gentleman Do Not Sell Dreams
This is one of the rules that separates the gentleman from the boys. Above all else, a gentleman believes in keeping it real, particularly when it comes to the women in his life. A gentleman does not sell women dreams; he does not purposely deceive women about his intentions with them for the purposes of being with them. Guys who do this make life a little more difficult for gentlemen who are willing to be honest about what they are and aren’t willing to offer a woman. Women who are jaded aren’t usually jaded because a relationship ran its course and failed, or because a relationship did not evolve the way she’d hoped. Sure, those things are disappointing and hurtful but that stuff doesn’t always cause lasting emotional damage and baggage. What causes that sort of lasting damage is when a man leads a woman to believe one thing, knowing the whole while it’s something else. A gentleman is forthright and presents himself as who he is, regardless of how that impacts his interpersonal relationships.
Why does it Matter?
At this point, some of you may be wondering why all of this matters, why the Gentleman’s Code is important. It’s important for many reasons. If you’re a man reading this and all of this stuff comes as second nature to you, chances are you’re a G. This is all part of your character. It’s important to take stock of it all because doing so aids your ability to silently notice other men who don’t carry the code and that can be useful in determining the depth to which you interact with them. If you’re a man reading this and all of this doesn’t come natural well, I can’t knock your hustle, I wish you the best of luck in life, but don’t be surprised if the men you admire don’t reciprocate your admiration and don’t be surprised if you consistently fall short of attracting the women you desire. If you’re a woman reading this, you need to internalize all of this stuff so that you can spot it in your dating life. You need to understand that you can’t count on a man who’s too beholden to his emotions, or that you can’t trust a man who knocks the hustle of other men. When these character traits are deficient in a man, it usually belies other, more egregious character flaws – and being able to recognize that early is priceless.
Stay low and keep firing.