Men have been receiving some pretty mixed signals over the past several decades, a period that saw a general shift away from traditional masculine roles towards a more neutral – or perhaps feminine – way of being for society. Overall, this has been a good thing for society, but it has left generations of men “displaced”, cast aside by a world who no longer needs or wants their skills yet with no clear way of how, then, to act instead. It’s a complicated mess, one that doesn’t have any one obvious answer. Yet perhaps the key is to follow the versions of masculinity that are still permitted, such as the ones outlined below.
We tend to get bogged down into thinking that our lives have to revolve around work, getting a home, and so on, but there’s no natural law that says you have to live this way. You’re free to do whatever you want, so long as it doesn’t get you trouble with the police (legal) and doesn’t hurt any other people (moral). If life is feeling grey and uninspired, go on an adventure. Find quality used motorcycles for sale and hit the open road, going wherever feels most right. Strap on a backpack and go for a hike through the mountains. Adventure is out there, you just have to go get it yourself.
Knowing What To Do
Yes, you’ll probably be severely frowned upon if you go on a night out with the intention of drinking copious amounts of beer and getting into fights. But don’t worry – that’s overrated anyway. Instead, you can quote unquote be a man by mastering the art of social engagement, by spending the time to learn the difference between one whiskey from another, to being smooth in a high end restaurant to holding a conversation in the local dive bar
The Essential Skills
Mankind has been mollycoddled into a slumber over the past half a century. We don’t have to live solely with central heating and meals always prepared for us. We can get in touch with our inner male by looking to our more primal selves. Use your hands – chop wood, build a fire, build a cabinet, or a man cave. There’s a whole host of skills that are no longer necessary, but that doesn’t mean we have to do without them for good. Bring them out for pleasure, and you’ll have passions that’ll last a lifetime.
Pursuing Your Own Path
The details of how you act actually, in effect, are secondary to your attitude. You can be a man by reclaiming your sense of autonomy and establishing your own path and not, as Thoreau said, your mother’s or your father’s or your neighbour’s instead. This is a journey that isn’t easy – it’s easier to live as everyone else – but one that is much more rewarding, and which will also bring a much deeper sense of happiness and satisfaction. In a world that is ever changing, it’s within yourself that’s the wisest place to look for these two qualities.
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