How does one become a better man? For every generation, the world has surely been stressful and confusing. But the modern age in particular has amplified the problem. It’s time to ask yourself if you are living your life with true self-reflective dignity, or if you are just being pulled along by the whims of society?
Social media, the regular media, celebrities, holy people, friends and family are all quick to tell one another how to feel and act. Disinformation is spreading faster than ever, and people seem to react mindlessly, adhering to someone else’s script. Everyone seems to live in an echo chamber, partitioning themselves from one another and lobbing grenades.
Civilization is devolving.
How can you, as a single man in all this madness, keep honor and dignity while navigating the landmines of the modern age?
The key is self-reflection, self-care and perhaps most importantly, empathy.
Tip 1: Choose the Right Relationships
While every man needs solitude for self-reflection and contemplation, it is essential to surround yourself with the right kind of friends and lovers.
Think about your current group of friends. Erase their beliefs, their skin color, their gender and religion. Boil them down to the essence of who they are as an individual. If all that is left is a person of good character, then they are the right kind of friend.
Removing toxic friendships can be hard. And if you are unable to remove toxic relationships from your life, then recognizing and limiting that person’s influence is the next best thing.
Surround yourself with people who share good character. People you admire and respect. Remember that character is largely defined by action: Persons of any race, gender, political affiliation or religion can be a person of good character.
Tip 2: Take Care of Yourself Physically
Health is something that is taken for granted… until it can no longer be taken for granted.
If you are fortunate enough to have been born healthy, then it is your obligation to maintain your good health as much as possible. Not just for yourself – you most likely have people in your life who depend on you.
If you don’t have an exercise regiment, then it’s time to start one. Exercise provides a man with time to improve their health while battling the stresses of life. You’ve read all the benefits that exercise can provide, so I’m not going to list them all here. Just do it.
If you can be part of a sport or group who exercise? Even better. There’s nothing wrong with making exercise fun and it can be a great place to form in-person social bonds.
Tip 3: Fight Ignorance
I don’t mean fight ignorance in others – I mean fight ignorance within yourself.
Ignorance abounds, and it’s most evident these days on social media. Accept that you cannot control what other people think or say… you can only control yourself. Embrace that. Rather than fighting the ignorance in others through petty arguments that will lead nowhere, take the high road. Lead by example.
Make it a point to stay informed and only speak of things that you are informed on. There are too many people spouting talking points on issues which they have spent zero minutes researching or contemplating. The result is absolute chaos. Why be a part of that?
Tip 4: Apply Love, Compassion and Empathy
The days of manhood being defined by machismo and authority are dead and gone for a good reason. The desire to be “alpha” is misguided and unhelpful, taking the exterior traits of some good men and forgetting what was truly important at their core.
Ernest Hemmingway once said, “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”
Manhood has nothing to do with being superior to others. In history, men who have acted on superiority alone have generally made some of the worst decisions, sometimes ending in death and destruction.
Forget the stereotypes. Love, compassion and empathy are not just traits of the opposite gender, bleeding heart liberals or the weak. They are the very foundation of humankind and the reason that we have survived as a species.
Without those three traits, we are simply mindless animals.
Does that sound like manhood to you?