If there were a hall of fame for heroes, Johnny Cash would be in it.

Of course, his musical career is legendary and continues to stand the test of time. But what makes him a hero, that special quality he had, was his raw honesty. In his songs, in his story, and with his gritty style.  His troubles are well-documented, but so is his remarkable change.  He serves as a reminder that no matter how far down the road we’ve gone, it’s never too late to turn back around.

What follows are a collection of quotes that speak to what it means to be a man. Let’s learn from the Man in Black himself as he shares some of his wisdom with us.


On being yourself: “To love who you are and what you do, and to have faith in your ability to do it. You’ve got to know your limitations. I don’t know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren’t too many limitations, if I did it my way.”

“I’m not talking about ego, and arrogance, and grandiose feelings. I’m talking about self-esteem and confidence. That’s vital: self-esteem and confidence.”


On what his marriage has meant to him: “We have a sharing marriage, and we share the road, we share the bedroom, we share the backstage, onstage, we share the music, the feeling, and the emotion, and the joy of it, you know. And the pain and the sadness of it. We share the love of our children. It would be terribly lonely not to have someone to share those things with me. And she’s not only a lady who I share my life with, but she may have been the person responsible for my still being alive. She and God. Because she came along at a time in my life that I was on self-destruct, and she saw what I was doing to myself and she helped bring me back up out of it. And we’ve fought and worked hard to keep our feet on the ground since then. But like I say, today is a good day.”


On how to succeed: “I could go by a lot of catch phrases like, ‘Know your own self,’ ‘To thine own self be true.’ Self-esteem and perseverance and confidence are all important, but the first thing is to know what you want to do. Set that goal out there and never lose sight of it, and work toward it. And know that there are going to be byways and sidetracks, but keep persevering and keep on, and do what you know that you want to do.”


On what his father meant to him: “My father was a man of love. He always loved me to death. He worked hard in the fields, but my father never hit me. Never. I don’t ever remember a really cross, unkind word from my father. He was a good, strong man who provided for his family. That was his sole purpose in life when I was growing up.”


On the purpose of the human body: “People say, ‘Well, he wore that body out.’ Well, maybe I did. But it was to a good purpose. They should be thankful that I wore it out to the purpose I wore it out and that was writing and recording and touring and doing concerts. Everywhere I could possibly do them that I thought I might enjoy them. I thought people might enjoy me.”


On getting past your past: “You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.”


On his fashion style: “I wore black because I liked it. I still do, and wearing it still means something to me. It’s still my symbol of rebellion— against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others’ ideas. Everybody was wearing rhinestones, all those sparkly clothes, and cowboy boots. I decided to wear a black shirt and pants and see if I could get by with it. I did and I’ve worn black clothes ever since.”


On what advice he’d give to young folks: “Youth shouldn’t be clouded by any chemical or anything. Somebody my age can easily know that too, but youth is too wonderful a thing to mess with while you’ve got it.”

“Children, all your life, you will be faced with a choice. You can choose love or hate… I choose love.”


On how his faith fueled him: “The Bible is the source of the greatest joy. It’s a great moral stabilizer in a world that’s run amok. It’s an anchor for my own conscience, my own mind and my own life. It keeps my feet on the ground. It gives the answer to every problem you’re facing, if you look for it.”

“God loves us. That’s why he created us and gave us free will. Kind of like a farmer watching his chickens to see what they’re going to do. It desires that we all come back to him. That’s the way I think, that’s my God.”

Are there any other words from Johnny Cash that have inspired you?



What does it mean to be a gentleman?


Are you a gentleman?

For many, a gentleman is a dapper fellow who dresses like Sherlock Holmes, has exquisite facial hair, and enjoys the finer things. While that’s a classy look, a true gentleman is much more than that. He is a courteous and chivalrous man who’s a pleasure to be around. He understands how to treat a lady, is well-mannered, and looks out for the welfare of others. He’s not perfect, nor does he pretend to be, but he makes an effort.

We could use more men like this these days, don’t you think?

105 Things Every Gentleman Should Know is a booklet I wrote for real guys who want to recover what it means to be a gentleman. It contains a set of common sense principles handed down from previous generations with many others picked up along the way through reading, observation, and experience.

Although this simple guide will take you less than 15 minutes to read, don’t let its simplicity fool you. The insights it contains will last a lifetime, if you apply them. As with most things in life, you get out of it what you put into it. As guys, we all have room to grow, and I hope you find the advice contained here is helpful in your pursuit to be a better man.


105 Things Every Gentleman Should KnowTo snag your FREE copy (and regular updates from GoodSirs), enter your email below. Once you do, a confirmation email will be sent to you.

Once you confirm, you will receive an email to the download link for this guide in pdf format. That’s it.

 Send me updates as they are published.
Send me a weekly digest.


If you enjoyed it, would you share a link to this page with others who might enjoy it too? Share it on Facebookpost on Twitter, or email it to someone.




As a bearded man, I greatly appreciated this infographic on the trustworthiness of beards.

Trustworthiness of Beards
Click image to enlarge





Guys generally don’t give one another gifts. But on occasion, the situation may arise when it’s an appropriate gesture. The next time you find yourself looking for ideas, here are five gifts for men that are sure to be a hit:

1. Tickets to sporting event, concert, or show

Purchase tickets based on the man’s interests and preferences. So if he prefers Willie Nelson to Lil’ Wayne, keep that in mind. If you go this route, always buy at least two tickets and never assume the extra one is for you.

2. Moleskine notebook

If this legendary notebook is good enough for Hemingway, Picasso, and Van Gogh, it’s good enough for your buddy. This is an ideal gift for thinkers, creatives, and leaders. It may seem like a basic notebook, but don’t let that fool you. It’s well-crafted with acid-free paper, an elastic closure, and sturdy binding.  Plus, it comes an inner pocket that contains the history of the notebook.

3. Bottle of good wine, spirits, or brew

An excellent choice for those who are so inclined. Plus, it can match any budget ranging from some “Two Buck Chuck” from Trader Joe’s to a fine scotch such as The Macallan to hand-crafted beer from a local brewery.

Important note: If your buddy has made it known he doesn’t drink due to health, conscience, or addiction, choose another gift option.

4. Quality pocket knife

A man can never have too many knives making this a solid selection. When a friend of mine got married, he gave all the guys in the wedding party a knife with our initials engraved. That added little touch added major value. Something to keep in mind if you choose this gift idea.

5. Gift certificate to a good restaurant

This is a good ol’ standby when nothing else will do. The rule of thumb is to purchase a gift certificate to cover at least one good meal at a preferred establishment. If it’s a gift for a couple, then make sure it will cover the cost of both of their meals.


What’s the best gift you ever received from another dude?

What other gift ideas for guys would you add?




After spotting a hand-written sign above a urinal at a restaurant, it got me wondering about what other funny or interesting messages are hung above the shrine of relief known as the urinal. It turns out, there’s quite a bit.

I’ve selected the most interesting urinal signs discovered online and have now enshrined them into this wall of fame of sorts.

(Click on the images to find the original sources.)

1. “Please do not throw cigarette butts in urinal. It makes them soggy and hard to light.”

What makes this even better is the fine print which reads: Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services.

Soggy and Hard to Light

2. Do not wash feet in sinks or urinals. It clogs the pipes.

At first, I thought, “Who would wash their feet in a urinal?” But the bigger question should be, “What in the world is on these people’s feet?”

dont wash your feet

3. Please stand a little closer… you weren’t blessed and the floor doesn’t need watering.

Although I appreciate the message, the more I look at this, the more the circular shape on the purple wall resembles a target.


4. Please be considered of others — Step forward and aim into urinal!!

In case you didn’t get the message, this sign had to go and throw down some religious guilt by attaching scripture to it. Actually, I’m trying to figure out how this verse is relevant to the sign. Do they want you to aim into the urinal while lifting your hands in the air?

Step Forward and Aim into Urinal

5. Are you striking out at the urinal?

In case you needed someone to count balls, and strikes, on you at the urinal.

Florida - Port St. Lucie - Tradition Field - Striking Out at the Urinal

6. Don’t put chewing gum in the urinal, it makes it taste funny.

I get using humor to get your point across. But to deface your own property by writing on the wall with a pen seems to defeat the purpose.


7. Use me well and keep me clean, I’ll never tell what I have seen.

Says the creepy face in the urinal decorated with flowers.

Angry urinal

8. This fixture is flushed with harvested rainwater. Not safe for drinking.

As men, should we be insulted that they even had to notify us not to drink the urinal water?

surprise:  urinal water "not safe for drinking"

9.You are a grown man, please act like it. We know who done the nasty, please just pee-pee here!

A good reminder that every urinal sign tells a story.

who done the nasty?

10. Don’t be intimidated! Step right up to “The Biggest Urinal in the Midwest”, Located at Glarner Stube, “The Midest’s Best Restaurant”, in New Glarus, WI, “America’s Little Switzerland” … (Don’t Miss It!) Postcards available for sale at the bar.

Wow! So much information to process at one time. All I know is it looks like a roadtrip destination to me.

Bathroom candy in New Glarus, WI

If you need further assistance on proper men’s room protocol, I suggest you read this article.

In the meantime, what’s the most interesting message you’ve read while standing at the urinal?



Politics and religion. Two hot topics gentlemen are advised to not bring up in social situations. Why? Because no two people see eye-to-eye on every moral issue, which is what makes them controversial.

That said, I can’t help but wonder if our well-meaning effort to avoid disagreements has hindered our generation from understanding what we believe about important cultural and controversial issues of our time?

Whether or not we enjoy debating about them, shouldn’t every man examine his convictions, his conscience, and his life experience to determine where he stands?  As the old saying goes, “You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.”

Of course, this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t reexamine our views as we grow in wisdom, but knowing them will help us be stronger (and better informed) citizens who are not easily swayed by whoever shouts the loudest.

What follows is a list of ten controversial political and social issues you need to reflect on, decide where you stand, and know why you do. A word of caution: doing so will force you to think deeply about your beliefs and your politics. Then again, that might not be such a bad thing.

Let’s begin.

1. What role should the government play in society? Should it be more or less involved in your life?

2. Do you believe in the death penalty? If so, for what crimes?

3. Should citizens be allowed to carry guns? How much control should be placed on them?

4. Is there ever a time for war? If so, what would justify it?

5. Should abortion be legal? More to the point, when is a person a person?

6. Should homosexuals have the same right to marry as heterosexuals?

7. What role should religion play in government? What role should government play in religion?

8. How should the government handle illegal immigration?

9. Should the government provide health care for its citizens or should that be left to the individual?

10. Should we pursue human cloning for any reason? If so, for what reasons? What are your ethical concerns?

Wherever he lands on the social and political spectrum, a mature gentleman recognizes fellow citizens with opposing views aren’t usually his enemy. He also has the humility to understand he is probably wrong about something, so there’s no sense getting arrogant or oppressive about his point of view. Unfortunately, many folks do.

As best he can, a gentleman should extend grace and work for peace with his neighbor. All while holding a firm grasp to his ideals and living by them.

Yes, you should know where you stand. Just be careful not to step on anyone as you do.


Page 1 of 3123