“What does it mean to be a man?” I’ve asked this question from 100’s of people and I usually get 100 different answers.
I constantly hear women complain about how sensitive their men are or how they wish their man would man up. While I sympathize with these ladies, I also ask if they have anything to do with it. This can’t just be men’s fault. I meet many men who are absolutely confused about what it is to be a man.
Hollywood has done a great job making men out to be pansies, weak and in many ways a Joke. Men have become the laughing stock of Hollywood. I’m not quite sure how much this has influenced men’s behavior in the recent years but it almost looks like men have forgotten what it is to be a man.
Men are actually very simple creatures. We usually have two simple motivations in life.
- We want to impress the women in our lives. (Mom, Wife, Sister, and Daughter.)
- We want to earn respect amongst the group of men we have in our lives. (Father, Brother, Friends and Co-workers.)
I think what the challenge has been recently is that men have been told by many so called experts that their only motivation is women.
You see, the way we (men) go about earning our stripes with other men is usually through our career. When we’re younger, it’s usually through how much we bench press or how many girls we’ve been with but as we age and get married, it usually comes down to how much success we’ve had in our lives.
Many measure success in different ways. Some consider themselves a success because of the degrees they have while others by the kind of money they earn or have accumulated. Either way, we need some way to be validated.
I think the book “The way of Men” does a great job highlighting all those points in a very direct way. I think this book is far more important for women to read than men.
As an entrepreneur running a company of nearly 2,000 agents nationwide, I see many men not making it in business because of how sensitive they are. I usually walk away telling myself how much this dude needs two years of military training to toughing him up.
Men are becoming way too soft and this book addresses many of the concerns in a way I can’t fully describe in just a few paragraphs.
I have several other books to recommend about this subject but at this time I highly suggest you start with “The way of men.” Although, I don’t agree with everything he says in the book, I do believe he brings up points that no one is bringing up in today politically correct society.
However, get ready to get annoyed, upset, offended and frustrated with the author. He’s extremely direct and controversial yet it’s exactly what we need in today’s sensitive society. (At least in America.)
Here are some of my favorite parts of the book that’ll give you a flavor of what the author writes about.
- Women believe they can improve men by making masculinity about what women want from men. Men want women to want them, but female approval isn’t the only thing men care about. When men compete against each other for status, they are competing for each other’s approval. The women whom men find most desirable have historically been attracted to – or been claimed by men who were feared or revered by other men. Female approval has regularly been a consequence of male approval.
- It’s natural for man to look after his own interests, but those interests drive men together- quickly. A loner has no one to ask for help, no one to watch his back, no one to guard him when he sleeps. Men have greater chance of survival together than they do apart. Men have always hunted and fought in small teams. The natural state of war is ongoing conflict between small gangs of men.
- People like to make friends. Being on the defensive all the time is stressful. Most people want to trust other people. Most people want to be able to relax. If you are smart, until you know them, they will remain out there on the other side of the perimeter. Even if you let your guard down to cooperate or trade with them, they may or may not be absorbed into us. As long as other men maintain separate identities, there is always the chance that they will choose to put the interests of their own ahead of your interests. In hard times, agreements between groups fall apart. Competition creates animosity, and men will dehumanize each other to make the tough decisions necessary for their own group to survive.
- Vir is the Latin word for “man.” The word “virtue” comes from the Latin “virtus.” To the early Romans, virtus meant manliness, and manliness meant martial valor. Demonstrating virtus meant showing strength and courage and loyalty to the tribe while attacking or defending against the enemies of Rome.
- What virtues do you need to cultivate in yourself and the men around you to be successful at the job of hunting and fighting?
When your life and the lives of people who you care about depend on it, you’ll need
You won’t want the men in your gang to be reckless, but you’ll need them to be courageous when it matters. A man who runs when the group needs him to fight could put all of your lives in jeopardy.
You’ll want men who are competent, who can get the job done. Who wants to be surrounded by morons and f$#k-ups? The men who hunt and fight will have to demonstrate mastery of the skills your group uses to hunt and fight. A little inventiveness couldn’t hurt, either.
You’ll also need your men to commit. You will want to know that the men beside you are us and not them. You’ll need to be able to count on them in times of crisis. You want guys who have your back. Men who don’t care about what the other men think of them aren’t dependable or trustworthy. If you’re smart, you will want the other men to prove they are committed to the team. You’ll want them to show that they care about their reputation within the gang, and you’ll want them to show that they care about your gang’s reputation with other gangs.
Strength, Courage, Mastery, and Honor are the virtues that protect the perimeter; they are the virtues that save us.
- Men have different drives, aptitudes and temperaments. Most men have the ability to adapt to the hunting and fighting role, to life at the edge of the perimeter, but some men won’t be able to cut it. They will be regarded as less manly and thought of as lesser men. Some men are going to get their feelings hurt. That’s not fair, but fairness is a luxury that men can ill afford in dire times.
- Before you can have church and art and philosophy, you need to be able to survive.
- To be honored is to be respected by one’s peers.
- Understanding Honor: “Caring about what the men around you think of you is a show of respect, and conversely, not caring what other men think of you is a sign of disrespect.
Flamboyant dishonor is an openly expressed lack of concern for one’s reputation for strength, courage and mastery within the context of an honor group comprised primarily of other men.
Dishonor is disloyalty. A man who not only openly refuses to strive to be as strong, courageous and competent as he can, but who flaunts these codes theatrically for all to see is a weak link.
Honor is a powerful concept because it is connected to every man’s primal need to demonstrate that he is of value to the group – that he is more of an asset than a liability.
- There is a difference between being a good man and being good at being a man.
Being a good man has to do with ideas about morality, ethics, religion, and behaving productively within a given civilizational structure.
Being good at being a man is about showing other men that you are the kind of guy they’d want on their team if the shit hits the fan.
A man who is more concerned with being a good man than being good at being a man makes a very well behaved slave.
- Lawyers and insurance companies – and more technology have made dangerous, exciting and engaging jobs safe, easy and boring. Only a select few guardians, workers in shrinking and outsourced field and men who favor intellectual channels of masculinity are satisfactorily engaged in activities where they feel like they are risking, struggling, and winning. Everyone else is just playing around, and they know it.