How To Be a Gentleman

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 (Jesus Pina)

Have you ever wondered how relationships will be 20 years from now? Will my son give roses or chocolates to his crush on Valentine's Day? Will he hold the door like a true gentleman should? One thing I believe for sure is: Be a gentleman all throughout life because that is how you want your daughter to be treated.

When I hear the word "gentleman" I ask myself, what's the definition of a gentleman? Different people have different definitions. I do know what the opposite of a gentleman is; someone who hurts others physically and mentally, someone who finds a girl's looks more interesting than a girl's interests. Maybe a gentleman is a person who prefers to win a girl with a kind word, someone who prefers to show his love not by buying stuff, but by his loving actions. Yeah, all this might sound corny but it's worth expressing.

A simple way I see it is: Treat a girl how you would treat your own mother. Luckily I had the best example here at home. My father is one of the most important gentlemen in my life. He learned from his father and has passed his wisdom on to me. This is the best inheritance I could get -- his principles and manners.

Nowadays, we forget that. We call girls this and that. We judge them based on their physical appearance. A wise teenager once said, "Every girl is beautiful you just have to find the most beautiful thing about her." We "gentleman" talk to girls with sweet words, but with our friends we say the exact opposite. We whistle and pretend that if we do certain things, the girls are going to fall straight into our arms.

The words I would tell my daughter are: "Don't fall for words, fall for actions." And for my son: "Don't tell her words, do actions. How do you think I won your mother's heart?"
From the Perspective of a future loving father, I am Jesus Pina.


Jesus Pina is 16 and attends the Life Academy for Health and Biosciences High School in Oakland's Fruitvale neighborhood.