The Gentlemen’s Curb
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The Three Maturities Of The Modern Man
Manhood is not something that is self-evident, nor does it grow without cultivation. While you are legally considered a man over the age of eighteen or twenty-one in some parts of the world, the mental attitude of manhood is far from something you pass at a certain age. There are some sixteen-year-olds who may count themselves as having profound manhood. There are some fifty-year-olds who retain a childish frame of mind. While you must never lose the novelty and levity of your childhood self, you maturing is essential if you hope to become your competent and best self.
The three maturities of the modern man are important to consider. They can help us orient ourselves in our growth. They can help us build self-respect. They can also make us more pleasant to be around. Most of all though, they can help our parents, our family and everyone we care about to feel proud of us. That’s perhaps the greatest feeling any man can achieve, no matter what he tells you:
Responsibility is essential to learn as you grow. It is something that can form through happenstance and something that can be taken on. The more responsibility you have, often the more meaning your life will enjoy. Responsibilities, of course, have a price. They will require our diligent attention. They will take our time to manage. They could be mishandled, and that is a fear you will need to carry.
Consider someone having their first child. This is a wonderful time of observing the miracle of life firsthand, of planning your future, of seeing your family home begin to come together. This is is likely to be one of the most satisfying times of your life. However, this time will also mean you need to take extra care of your financial situation. You will likely lose sleep. You will worry about your child as they grow and become more independent. You will worry whenever they fall ill. Sometimes, bad things will happen to them that you cannot protect them from. Part of the responsibility you accept is to shoulder the burden of those issues. Doing so is always worth it, but without strong shoulders to bear those issues, you’ll find yourself ill-equipped to deal with situations that arise in your life.
It can pay to try and chisel your steadfast sense of self-governance during times in which you want to stay mature. Looking to the future and ensuring everything is well-catered for is a nice idea, but making it a reality will take time and dedication. This can come from the need to sustain yourself each day, with the correct tasks approved. It could be that someone with responsibility could trust themselves with same day loans, or perhaps to manage the finances of another. They may adhere to keeping their home secure. Responsibility also comes in the diligent effort you apply to your job every day, potentially securing a promotion and improving your family future.
Often, the inner acceptance to deal with responsibility is more than enough to begin. You will notice your character sharpen and your relationships blossom from this. On the contrary, those who decide to hide from responsibility in all its forms will stay weak, fragile, and lack their own sense of self-respect and certainly the respect of others. No one enjoys being around a person unwilling to muster the care to act correctly, or at least in an improved capacity.
Meaning is similar to responsibility but slightly different. The confusion comes from the fact that both of them inform one another. Responsibility will give you meaning, and there’s often no good meaning without responsibility to achieve it or to make it a daily reality. The word meaning is so overreaching that people often find themselves confused by those who preach its importance. Would you say you have a life meaning to stay fed? Or is that only a step on the journey to achieving meaning? Is it enough to survive, or must you thrive and stay at the top of your field in every way to enjoy its pearly wisdom?
Of course, the meaning is what you make of it, and is often oriented to the highest good in your life. For example, you may be a father. This means that your children will be your highest meaning. That means being the best father possible, staying as present as possible, and teaching them good life lessons can help you find a real meaning that sustains you. This can be nourishing to our spirit, but only if aimed at something we truly find worthwhile.
Only you can answer what your meaning may be, and it could change once every year or maybe ten years. Allowing your hierarchy of purpose to guide some of your actions can be freeing, rather than limiting. It helps guide your decisions, free you from false actions, and generally helps you find out what really matters in life. After all, a mature man knows that his time is limited. This sounds like a curse, but it’s really not. It allows you to make the time you do have worth it – and continually fresh.
No man is an island. This is something that needs to be repeated time and time again. Many men do find value in connections, but often, the most strong-headed of us find a necessity for isolation, and to ‘lone wolf’ matters. While there’s no shame in trying to find competence in your own action, and you should absolutely form your own opinions about things, bonding well is one of the responsibilities any man should master. This doesn’t mean you need to become a social butterfly and become seen at the right events, but you should be able to be humble in how you approach people, allow your voice to be heard when it matters, and take the risk of opening up to people you care about.
There is no value in being alone, a mysterious figure such as those found in blockbuster movies. You needn’t be the most expressive person in the world, but any mature man understands the value of building friendships, of caring for them and being true.
With these maturities of the modern man, you can reassert your personal dominion, and teach your sons how to behave when the time comes.