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Being A Better Man - Alf Herigstad 17th April 2017
193 – A Man In Modern Times
00:00:00 00:09:19

193 – A Man In Modern Times


A Man In Modern Times…

I have a question for you today.  Say you wake up in 2017 and you are a grown, human man.  You walk outside and realize that there is nothing for you to kill, and there is plenty of food in your fridge.  There is nobody that needs you to defend them right in the moment either.  Everything seems to be going ok.

You go to work, you come home, you go through all the same stuff you normally do in the course of a day.  Again, you didn’t get in any fights for territory or possessions, you didn’t have to spill blood of any kind.  At the end of the day you didn’t have to do anything that was necessarily ‘male’, you just lived your life like you do every day. 

My question is really a question someone asked me the other day.  If you go through life without having to engage in traditional male activities…then what is it, exactly that defines you as a man?

What if you are a stay at home dad?  Your wife has a sweet job and it makes sense for you to stay home and take care of the kids, should that challenge your masculinity at all? 

I think a lot of guys get confused around these questions.  That’s why so many guys act out with too much bravado and machismo because they are over compensating for a perceived lack of masculinity in other areas of their life.

Other guys just become raging douche bag control freaks in their relationships because they need to feel in charge of something to validate their manhood.  Then there are some guys that try to convince themselves they are a man by having sex as much as humanly possible with as many partners as they can find.

It’s a problem, because a lot of guys nowadays are drifting into adulthood without having the slightest clue what being a man means.  They have no example, no guidance, and the messages society is sending them is very confusing at times.

The real question then, is what does define a modern human man?  Even though most days we don’t have to fight or kill or defend our tribe, what is it in this modern life that makes us a man?

The answer is surprisingly simple in my opinion, and it applies to every man wether he is a stay at home dad, or an Alaskan fisherman, or a pharmacist or a construction worker. 

The fact that we don’t have to kill things to live every day and defend our loved ones against threats is a huge advantage.  Our ancestors couldn’t even dream of a life as easy as the ones we have.  It’s easy to get confused by how easy it is…at times it might seem as though life takes very little effort at all and that is where a lot of guys tend to get off track because the rules about manhood seem gray, instead of black and white.

Here is my answer to this question.  It doesn’t matter what you do for a living.  It doesn’t matter were you live or what your lifestyle is like.  The bottom line is that you are a man and there are some fundamental things that go along with that, things that transcend whatever situation you may be in.

As a man, you are in charge of yourself at all times.  Not only yourself, but your immediate surroundings as well.  You have a responsibility for the care and well being of the people that enter your personal manly realm.  If you come across someone that needs help, you should help them because they are in your realm.  If you see trash on the street, you should pick it up, because again, it is in your realm.

Along with that comes your obligation to keep your personal affairs in order; your finances, your career, and your relationships.  These things aren’t anyones job but yours, and if they aren’t going well, its your fault.

As a modern man you also have a duty to yourself, to your physical fitness and health.  If you are too fat or too weak or too sickly, then that becomes the grizzly bear you need to slay.  Likewise, if your finances or your business life is spinning out of control then that is your opportunity to defend your tribe by taking care of business and doing the things you need to do.

Another thing that will define you as a man in these modern times is your strength.  Not just your physical strength, but your mental and emotional strength as well.  This is achieved by making it a point to know who you are, and always striving to know yourself more.  Correcting behaviors that need to be corrected and being focused on improving a little bit every day.  When tragedy strikes you should be the strong one, offering support and comfort to those around you…the people in your realm.

Do you see how if you become concerned with these few things I just mentioned that your manhood will not be ambiguous?  Do you see how, by focusing on these things, at the end of the day you can be 100% secure in your place as a man in the world?

It really isn’t complicated.  Times have changed, conditions have improved dramatically, but the male animal is the same thing it was 5000 years ago.  We have to adapt to this modern paradigm, we have to transfer our primal instincts to things that make sense.  To things that will have a positive impact on our lives and the lives of those around us.  Don’t get bogged down in stereotypes and restrictive gender roles, just be the best guy you can be everyday and try to be a little better man than you were yesterday.  In the few examples I gave there is plenty to keep you busy, there is enough to challenge you every day.

Now head out into the world and always be accountable for yourself.  Have care for the people who enter your realm, have concern for the world around you.  Constantly build on your physical, mental, and emotional strength and strive to be a little better man each day that you live.  Focus on those things, and they will become what you are; a true man, a better man.

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