Most males in our society are looking for ways to become a man. There was a time when their path was clear. It is less clear today than ever. In his 2016 book, Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, author Sebastian Junger posed the question “How does one become a man in a world that doesn’t require courage?” Junger recognized that (1) exhibiting courage is one of the way that manhood is demonstrated and (2) society no longer requires men to exhibit courage in order to survive. Because courage is a Masculine Virtue, a value that is fundamental to man’s existence and self-concept, men are left confused on how to be a man. This post is an attempt to answer Junger’s question.
A boy becomes a man when takes responsibility for his own life. He does what is right and what is needed, even if doing so conflicts with what he wants. As he grows as a man, he begins to take responsibility for others. Along the way, courage will be required of him.
Courage: the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. – Merriam-Webster Dictionary
“Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point.” – C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
We no longer have to blaze wilderness trails, settle new lands, or defend ourselves and our families from wild beasts, the elements, and enemy inhabitants. Our world still requires courage, but opportunities to exhibit courage are rarer and less visible. That doesn’t make courage any less important to the well-being of men in particular and society in general. It’s our job to find ways to express our courage. Here are my attempts to answer Junger’s question.
How does one become a man in a world that doesn’t require courage?
- Get strong. Get under the bar and keep coming back until you’re strong. Then stay strong until you die.
- Refuse to be woke. Never bow to political correctness and don’t apologize for that position.
- Get a gun, become competent and safe with it, and carry it. All the time.
- Learn a combat sport. Strain in competition against other men who are trying to beat you.
- Approach the pretty girl and strike up a conversion. More generally, go after what you want regardless of fear.
- Protect your family, neighbors, and community. This might mean you’re Jack Wilson, it might mean you’re the one on the Titanic loading the women and children into the life boats.
- Back down the bully.
- Take the lead in seducing your woman. Porn has convinced men to sit back and let their women initiate. Don’t.
- Refuse to complain or blame others.
- Smile at and greet strangers. Don’t wait for them to initiate.
- Do not fear death. Fear a dishonorable life.
- Judge yourself first, judge yourself harshest.
- Perfect a firm handshake and use it often.
- Hunt, kill, butcher, and eat wild game.
- Call a cab or an Uber if there’s a question about whether you’re sober.
- Take a drunk girl home. Don’t let anyone touch her. Be wise, take a female witness if you’re wary, but be the protector that she needs.
- Be able to change a tire and oil in your vehicle.
- Provide for your family. The least-dignified job is better than a failure to provide. Once you can provide for your family, look to provide for other families.
- Speak sincere words to people around you. Sincere words are words that come from your heart and give the other person what is needed. Start with your wife and children, then friends, then acquaintances, then strangers. Speak them to whoever needs to hear them.
- Ask her father’s permission to marry her. Then respect his wishes.
- Invite your friends to criticize you. Then listen. Then thank them.
- Homeschool your kids if the public schools go against your values.
- Liberate yourself from junk food.
- Learn to thrive outdoors and in the dark.
- Endure whatever pain is necessary to keep your family safe.
- Say “No” to your kids. A lot. Most of the time, actually.
- Fight for your daughter’s value.
- Affirm your son’s manhood when it is expressed.
- Build and protect your reputation. Strive for honor among men.
- Make the innocent feel safe around you and the wolves feel in danger.
Men who do these things are find a greater contentment with life. They thrive and cause those around them to do the same. Is this the exhaustive list? Of course not, but if you want to be a good man who is good at being a man, developing these qualities and taking these steps will get you there – or at least a good way down the path. This is the man’s life. Build it. Godspeed.
Because men everywhere need encouragement and direction, our message needs to be spread far and wide. I’d really appreciate it if you’d use the buttons below to share this article on social media. Together, we can help men find a better life experience. When men thrive, families and communities thrive. I hope you’ll join me. Godspeed.