An able man shows his spirit by gentle words and resolute actions.~ Chesterfield
An able man shows his spirit by gentle words and resolute actions.~ Chesterfield
The superior man wishes to be slow in his words and earnest in his conduct.~ Confucius
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
Think like a man of action. Act like a man of thought.~ Henri Bergson
Masculinity-as-cultural-construct is one of those beliefs that sounds good in the abstract, perhaps. But I think most folks, men and women alike, feel deep in their gut that it isn’t so, isn’t desirable, and isn’t working. As someone who has examined the research and history of masculinity, I find the idea of it being wholly a cultural construct utterly untenable. It is a conclusion one can reach only by willfully ignoring large swaths of the data and the human experience.~ Brett McKay from, http://www.artofmanliness.com/2014/05/30/the-dead-end-roads-to-manhood/
Masculinity is not — not “entirely”, nor even “mostly” — a social construct. I believe one is free to attempt to take on whatever role one wishes. (I see that as one of the big benefits of our current level of human progress.) But if you attempt the role of a “Man”, you do not get to simply make up what you think a Man should be.
That’s where we are as a culture. We run desperately to abstraction and avoid action at all costs. Thoreau’s man of “quiet desperation” has never been so prevalent. The world is full of men who are “stuck” in life. There has been some mass paralysis. Modern man has forgotten how to take action.~ Kyle Eschenroeder from, https://www.artofmanliness.com/2014/05/19/10-overlooked-truths-about-taking-action/
Curious: My self-perception is that I too often charge ahead doing things. By which I mean, I should more often take some time to reflect, think-through, etc. I am frequently way off on a tangent doing something, which from the hind-sight of next year, was clearly not a good expenditure of my efforts.
Curiouser: Others tell me that I spend way too much time figuring out systems and trying to sort-out/plan every little detail of something. When what’s needed is to make a few steps forward.
Curiouser and curiouser: What if both of these ideas are perfectly correct/true?
But if aspiring was our true fulcrum, you’d be on your throne already. Here’s the truth: It’s not the heights we aspire to but the FLOOR WE PUT UP WITH that determines our place.~ Bryan Ward from, http://www.thirdwayman.com/articles/stop-aspiring/
A good friend recently said something to the effect of, “Life is full of compromises which you cannot avoid. So don’t compromise with yourself.”
I find both of these things are very useful for me to keep in mind.
…as we flee the discomfort of the wild without, so we flee those of the wild within, estranging ourselves from the power and beauty of the uncharted life…~ Bryan Ward from, http://www.thirdwayman.com/articles/what-happens-when-men-flee-the-wild/
The un-examined cake will bury you in a never-ending steady stream of slow debris, your life wasted in lower-order, derivative problems.~ Bryan Ward from, http://www.thirdwayman.com/articles/hunt-the-cake/
To develop this trait favorably one should stick to a job until it is done. Form the habit of staying, not quitting. And when you do feel like quitting think of Joe who trained for the distances, or Daguerre who spent fourteen years to get a photographic image to stick on glass. Don’t be a putter-off.~ Brett McKayfrom, https://www.artofmanliness.com/2017/08/18/5-willpower-habits/
The problem with human nature is that we are all prone to what might be called “virtue forgetfulness.” Our principles and values – our vision of the men we want to be — do not stay at the forefront of our minds at all times, ever at the ready to sway our choices. Instead, our craniums are so busy processing our day-to-day issues and concerns that more philosophical data ends up stored in the reserve trenches rather than the frontlines. It is for this reason that moral reminders are so effective and necessary in our lives: they act as cues in our environment that summon thoughts about our values from the back of our minds to the front, where they can influence our behavior and be brought to bear on the temptations before us.~ Brett McKay from, http://www.artofmanliness.com/2013/08/19/what-strengthens-and-weakens-our-integrity-part-iv-the-power-of-moral-reminders/
I don’t care how much you say you love your work. If your vision is bold enough, there will soon be a point where your passion is used up before the work ends. Enjoyment does not carry you far enough when you are sailing epic waters.~ Bryan Ward
Creative hoarding is different than other kinds of hoarding. You’re not withholding your treasure from others, you’re withholding it from yourself. You are denying yourself permission to take the best of what you have, here and now, and make it manifest in the world.~ Bryan Ward
Wherever your life has locked you in, wherever force has failed you, put down the hammer: pick up the crowbar.~ Bryan Ward
This growing discontent is a warning: a message to stop dissipating your powers in low-level problem solving, to lift your aim and seek better, higher-order problems: ones more lucrative, more alluring… ones better suited to your highest gifts.~ Bryan Ward
If you say that brotherhood matters to you, why is your brotherhood so cheap? Why is it given so freely? Do you ask nothing in return for your brotherhood? What does your brotherhood offer?~ Jack Donovan from, http://www.jack-donovan.com/axis/2017/02/we-are-not-brothers/
Seeing Gen Y as “heroic” may seem like quite a stretch to some. But as Howe pointed out in my interview with him, “Remember that no one said anything about the GIs being the Greatest Generation until the very end of the last fourth turning.” No one thought the last Hero generation was anything special at the time either; it was only in retrospect, after they had fully risen to the challenge of their age, that they were venerated.~ Brett McKay from, http://www.artofmanliness.com/2017/01/30/millennials-next-greatest-generation-personal-finance/
These days, cues on living a virtuous life are virtually absent from school or popular culture. And there are thousands of other stimuli vying for your attention. What this means is that you can’t hope to accidentally bump into cues every day that will help you remember the things that are most important to you. Instead, you have to purposefully plan for your regular exposure to those cues. You do this by regularly reading your scriptures, or personal manifesto, or books on philosophy and development, and doing other things which continually pull up all your past feelings and insights into the man you want to be, bringing them to bear on your present challenges.~ Brett McKay from, http://www.artofmanliness.com/2012/10/08/hold-fast-how-forgetfulness-torpedos-your-journey-to-becoming-the-man-you-want-to-be-and-remembrance-is-the-antidote/
The linked article is rather long and covers a wide variety of sources and ideas — some I’d venture most “modern” people won’t be interested in. But, the thread running through this is very real.
Despite of all this seeming weight, a certain part of ourselves remains unmoored. We don’t lack for tasks, but we do lack meaningful ones. We haven’t made any goals since college. We don’t experience the tension that emerges in “the gap between what one is and what one should become,” because the gap simply doesn’t exist – at a certain point we stopped aiming for anything above paying the bills and checking off to-dos.
We think we want rest and relaxation – the absence of all labor and responsibility – but what we really crave is the presence of meaningful work and interests. We don’t want a complete lack of tension, but a different variety of it.
We don’t need less stress, but more of the right kind.~ Brett Mckay from, http://www.artofmanliness.com/2016/11/27/more-load-on-the-arch/
This piece is a clear manifesto that coincides with my efforts of the past couple years: “Load the arch intentionally!”
One guy is always happy to see me. I don’t mean well-duh-that’s-obvious happy, the way say, my mom is always happy to see me; I mean, just outright happy, twinkle-in-the-eye, “Hey there you great lug!” sort of way. This fellow gives automobile-crash hugs– WHACK and you fall over into him. His aren’t “A-frame”, I’m-hugging-but-no-actually-i’m-not hugs. I think I could back over his dog — he doesn’t actually have a dog, and I’ve never backed over ANYONE’s dog — and he would STILL be happy to see me. Consequently, it is IMPOSSIBLE to not feel better after receiving one of these greetings. It is not just me which receives this treatment. The world is a better place every time someone gets a crash-test-dummy hug like that from him.
The second guy is a Gentleman. This is a highly-intelligent, engineering-degree-from-respected-University… he knows there’s evil, and people do bad things, etc… AND he’s such an impeccably, unwaiveringly, decent soul. I have never heard him curse, or even speak ill of anyone. In fact, I have NEVER heard him even raise his voice. This is not hyperbole; I’ve known this guy decades. In fact, having talked to others who know him, no one ELSE has ever heard him raise his voice, curse, speak ill or generally be anything other than pleasant and polite. His composure rises above “great self control”, to the level of — well… honestly, I’ve no idea. I just wander around my life, thinking — how the F*** does he do that?!
(Alas, one of them recently died, and the world is a little bit poorer for it.)
These two men were best friends for — my guess here — 70+ years. One of them married the other’s sister, which as far as I can tell, only made them better friends.
I suspect that none of the above is coincidence . . .