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Being A Better Man - Alf Herigstad 18th August 2017
232 – Hate Makes It Impossible, To Be A Better Man
00:00:00 00:14:31

232 – Hate Makes It Impossible, To Be A Better Man


Hate Makes It Impossible, To Be A better Man…

As many of you know, since starting this podcast some 232 episodes ago I have been very diligent about not getting political.  I have not discussed politics or religion or anything else that tends to divide people.  My reason for that is because I have always found it more beneficial to focus on things that make us similar to other people…rather than the things that make us different.

I still believe that is true.  For example, we are all men, regardless of what color we are or what political party we are aligned with or what Gods we pray to.  At the end of the day, we are just human men, trying to be better than we were yesterday.  Nothing positive has ever been gained from dividing people into groups based on these types of things.  That is why I have steered away from this kind of thing and instead have been focused on manhood in such a way that it can apply to everyone.

Well, today it may seem like I am veering from that course a bit.  Today I will be making a very pointed observation about something going on right now.  If it offends you, you are free to never listen to me again.  If it offends you, then you are obviously not aligned with the message this podcast offers.  I would add that if you are offended by today’s podcast to at least also give yourself the benefit of hearing me out.

Before I get into all that I am going to take a minute to acknowledge the sponsor of today’s program, Stump Town Kilts.  One thing I want you to know about these kilts is that they aren’t just clothes.  They are not just another garment.  In my personal experience these kilts are actually gear.  What I mean is that they are built and designed to perform a job, and they do it very well.

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Ok, so now it’s time to talk about today’s topic.  The reason I feel compelled to talk about it is because our country is in strife right now.  For those of you listening from countries outside the US I’m sure you have heard of it as well.  Our country is being divided—pulled apart.  People are polarized to levels I have never seen in my lifetime.

I am not going to talk about all the causes and all the various schools of thought though.  Today I’m going to narrow it down to just one subject in particular because it deals directly with men.  The character of men and the behavior of men.

I just watched one of the many videos out there that show what was happening on the streets of Charlottesville VA.  What I saw were grown men, cowardly men, striking a woman and knocking her down, spitting on her and screaming at her. 

I saw people being hit with objects and with fists and other acts of violence.  All for no reason, other than the fact that the people they were hitting had a different opinion.  Or they were a different color, or they were defending someone of a different color.

The people responsible for the violence, to include the death of one woman who was ran over by a car, call themselves white nationalists.  From what I understand that includes white supremacists of every stripe, Nazi’s, the ku klux klan, skin heads, and other such groups.  From what I understand many of these groups were represented that day in Charlottesville.

Many people in America are coming unhinged right now because after the tragic events that occurred the President gave a speech.  In that speech he spoke out against hate in all of it’s forms, but he never directly denounced or condemned the actions of these violent demonstrators or called their groups out by name.  When attacked for that he doubled down and defended his lack of condemnation.  Then, two full days after the speech under huge political pressure—he finally called them by name.

Some defenders of these violent hate groups are defending them by saying that are not Nazi’s, merely disaffected, frustrated white youth asserting themselves.  That might wash it it were not for the Nazi slogans, rhetoric, and salutes.

I’m not a news reporter.  I’m not here to tell you what happened or what I think of it from a political perspective.  I am just a guy who talks to men about trying to be better men.  So I’m here to go on the record with my official statement about these hate groups.

I condemn these groups, their agenda, and the actual people within these groups that use this agenda to cause harm to other humans.  Furthermore, I believe these men are not actually men at all, not even the old ones.  Rather I believe them to be ignorant, frustrated boys who for the first time in their pathetic life found a way to feel powerful by diminishing others.  They are cowards.  I’ll go on to say that if you are a white supremacist of any kind that it is impossible for you to be a better man.  If you are any kind of supremacist at all, if your life is fueled by hate of any kind, it is impossible to be a better man until you change the way you think.

The really sad part to me is that a lot of these guys are literally boys.  Very young men without the experience or wisdom to realize they were getting swept up into something that was bad…and stupid.  That is a sad thing because it means the other men in their lives prior to that if there were any, were not doing their job.  they weren’t being the example they needed to be.  It’s no excuse of course, they are all responsible for the path they have chosen.

However, there may be guys out there on the verge.  Guys frustrated with the hand life has dealt them.  They may be drawn to the rhetoric and promises of power, unity, and freedom that these groups offer.  These guys are on the edge, they have not pulled the trigger yet.  There is still hope for these guys.  That hope comes in the form of everyone else around them taking the time to inform and educate them about their decision and opinions.  If any guys in that boat are listening I invite you to write to me.  I also urge you to be responsible for your own mind.  Do some research, look at history.  Do not blindly follow anyone, do not be a sheep.  Don’t even follow me, instead be your own man with your own mind who makes your own decisions about what is right.

You know as I was watching this video I put myself in the place of a Jewish man, as a group with torches was chanting anti-semitic slogans.  I became angry.  I could almost imagine for a moment what that must feel like.  To be a Jewish person and hearing these chants.  I could almost imagine it, but not quite, because I am not a Jewish man.  I still became very angry though.

Do not confuse what I’m saying.  I have zero problem with people being proud of their ethnicity, I am very proud and happy that I am Norwegian for example.  I am proud of my ancestors and the trials they prevailed through.  It’s good to know where my family came from.  I’m not better than anyone else because I’m Norwegian though.  If I’m going to be better than anyone, it has to be the man I was yesterday.  It has to be by my own efforts and not because I happened to be born a certain shade.

I think every person should be proud of their ethnicity, or have the freedom to be if they want to.  That does not include putting people of other ethnicities down though…that’s just stupid.

I am an American of Norwegian descent, but that is not the first thing I am.  The first thing I am is a human being.  The second thing I am is a man, followed by a husband and son and father.  Being Norwegian comes after all this other stuff.  We are all just human beings.  We are part of the same race, the human race.

My advice to all the decent people out there who are listening is this;   1.) Speak out intelligently about these matters when you see them raised.  If you need to educate yourself first in order to speak intelligently about it, do that.  2.) It may be difficult, but try not to hate the hate groups.  Hate of any kind is unhealthy and unproductive.  Hatred is a disease and it is not an effective weapon.  A much more effective weapon is reason and logic.  You might pity them for their ignorance.  You might dislike them intensely as I do, but try not to hate them.  If you hate them then you aren’t so different from them.  3.)  Always, every day, stay committed to the mission of being a better man than you were yesterday.  Every man who does this is making a difference in the world.

That’s all I’m going to say about that for today.  I welcome your letters on this topic.  Just email me at:  alf@beingbetter.men and tell me whats on your mind.  Remember though, I’m leaving for an adventure in the Nevada desert on August 23rd and I won’t get back until September 3rd.  So there may be a delay on my response, but I will respond.  Also, because I will be out of town and away from technology there won’t be any podcast for the next couple of weeks.  The next time you here me will be during the week of September 4th.  If you want to be sure and catch me when I come back just subscribe to this podcast on iTunes and you should be notified when I return.  Or, follow me on Facebook, you’ll be sure to see me there as well.

Hey remember to to check out my new book, Forging A Man, available right now on Amazon.



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