Saturday, August 18, 2012
Originally published in bad faith...
To become men, young boys must develop and mature through experience. They must learn skills and develop talents to reach their full potential for having a productive life. They must become something.
Men are made like steel. We must experience the fire of the forge, take a beating, and emerge stronger, harder and ready for sharpening.
“No pain, no gain” may sound like nothing more than a trite old maxim used to get people to do something they really don’t want to…but it’s especially true for boys attempting to become men.
You can only know your true self worth, if you find out what your limitations are, reach that limit and than keep striving to exceed them.
You can only become tough by getting the hell beat out of you.
Fortitude, endurance and stamina are developed by continually pushing your boundaries to see how far you can actually push yourself to achieve something.
This is where self-esteem (the real kind) and confidence come from. You’ve done it before, you can certainly do it again if you had to.
This is why most cultures around the world had some sort of test, challenge or some kind of painful endurance ceremony or test of physical and mental strength for young men.
Things have changed…and for most, not for the better.
Young men used to feel inspired by a song heard on the radio, to go and buy a guitar and attempt to learn how to play it. They wanted to be that guy up on stage, playing to an adoring crowd, and all the female attentions that come with being a famous musician.
To anyone who’s ever begun attempting to play the guitar, you know all about burning finger tips and cramping hands from fretting chords repeatedly for hours on end to master the multitude of techniques to play music.
Who needs all that practice now?
Now, you can now just turn on the liquid crystal flat screen, fire up the gaming console, sling the plastic guitar and furiously hit the five colored buttons in patterns timed to the latest pop rock music, and you too could be virtually headlining Madison Square Garden with your virtual Rock band!
Then, when the show is over, Internet porn and some lube will give you all the virtual groupie action you can handle! ROCK ON DUDE!
Who needs high school football practice in the heat, risking injury, exhaustion and pain…when you can be indoors, sitting, on the couch, gorging on snack feed and gulping carbonated corn syrup, while playing in the Superbowl in your 5th season with your favorite team in Franchise mode?
Isn’t skateboarding cool? Why bother with scabbed knees, busted shins and broken arms that comes from practicing at the neighborhood skate park, when I can rip off 720′s on a half-pipe and do hand-plants and rail slides…risk free and all without leaving the comfort of the living room!
Who needs messy, and painful experiences of life, when the virtual life is so much easier to attain success in with only a minimal amount of pain-free, comfortable effort?
Remember the old Timothy Leary quote, which became the catch phrase of the LSD sub-culture: “Turn on, tune in, drop out?”
In today’s Brave New World Order, it’s morphed into: Turn on the media, tune in to your preferred virtual experience, and drop out of real life.
Sadly, I know a number of young men who most certainly DO need to “man up” and turn off their game consoles and start finding ways to live a real life, not a virtual one.
Many folks in this corner of teh interwebz object to any calls made by anyone to “man up” as using nothing but shaming language to get men to do whatever they want for their own benefit and not for the benefit of the man or men being shamed.
This is shaming language trying to shame young men into behaving for their own benefit.
If you are a young man reading this, can you look yourself in the mirror and honestly feel good about any real life achievements you’ve obtained by overcoming adversity…or have you wasted too much of your time becoming a virtual success?