Reader palegoat writes:
Here I am, a young man, about to graduate from college in a month, and I feel so powerless to become more of the man that scripture commands me to be. Is there some mental or emotional switch that I can simply flick and grow out of this inept personality and temperament? (I know there isn’t!) Should I even bother pursuing a woman when I am so very aware and scared of the responsibility and privilege that comes with marriage and manhood? Should I grip the fear and use it to compel and motivate me to be more of a man?
Yes, you should. Whatever it is that you are afraid of is generally exactly what you ought to do. You are profoundly broken. We all are. Quit using that shit as an excuse.
As to improving personality and temperament, there are some switches you can throw to improve yourself. They are all things that you have already heard and know. Listen to the Bible. For our purposes, start with Isaiah and work your way to the end of the Old Testament. Lift weights. If you can afford it start learning a combat sport. Ditch television. You can still watch a show now and then, but not another commercial. Cut the sports watching. If you currently watch more than one game a week, cut down to one, and listen to the others on the radio while doing something productive. Spend time outdoors in nature. Build or make something. Make a list of all the things you really want to do but are scared to try, and then start doing them.
Meanwhile, Donal is hosting a discussion on how to guide young men (particularly sons) in the old paths.
I think the biggest thing here is walking the in the paths you wish to guide your proteges in. They will tend to follow you more than your advice or instruction.
Finally, commenter Kidd Cudi wonders on how to be a beacon in a liberal work environment:
I’ve been thinking about exactly this ever since joining the workplace. My personal policy up ’til now has been been to never say anything about my beliefs and opinions because I have a tendency to ramble, thus wasting a lot of time explaining, and the very liberal place I work implies that my beliefs are so far outside the local Overton Window that I’d have a lot of explaining to do. In the interest of laziness and efficiency I have just kept my mouth shut. I guess that a policy of “never say anything” is probably sub-optimal, but my natural policy among friends is “never shut the fuck up” so, I’m not sure I could strike an effective balance at work. Also, being young, people would almost never rib me for my masculinity–I just look too much like a boy. I’ve gotten the frugal jabs, though.
While you should be willing to lose your job if that is what is required to stand on principle, you don’t need to actually say that much about your beliefs at work to spread your message. Often a well-timed smirk, an honest belly laugh, or what you pointedly don’t say communicates more than what you do say. When you do say things, mentioning random facts (particularly historical facts) and asking questions without stating your person opinion is useful.
For example, you may not be able to say that you think transsexualism is a mental disorder (Gavin McInnes got fired from his own company for saying that publicly), but you can say “I read an article in the Wall Street Journal by the recently-retired top psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins, in which he claimed that transsexualism is a mental disorder.” HR can’t fire you for saying you read an article in a mainstream paper. If someone tries to trap you into saying whether or not you agree with him, you simply say “I’m not a psychiatrist, so I’m really not competent to say. I just thought it was interesting to read what someone who is a well-known and highly-respected psychiatrist at a top hospital had to say about it.”