Rules for living-Part 1 Notes to my sons on manhood and living

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Fatherly wisdom for my sons: As time allows, I will likely expand each of these maxims into their own posts.

  1. Start a business: Any business whatsoever, but at one point in your life you must start some kind of business. There is nothing that will teach you self-reliance, self-determination, and persistence like being completely dependent upon yourself for your income. Far too many men go through life never experiencing the adventure of having owned their own business. They are content to always work for someone else. These men have never really fully experienced manhood, as manhood is only understood when all of your dependence on the *other* is stripped away and you are utterly responsible for making the money you earn.
  2. If you cannot start a business do this instead: Sometimes it is not feasible to start a business. In this case, do everything you can to work your way up the corporate ladder. Do not be so passive that you will settle for the comforts of middle management. Middle managers are viewed by corporate sociopaths as “useful idiots” or “clueless” and they will use you. They will cause you to do things in their best interest that may not even be ethical but using you in this manner will allow them to maintain plausible deniability when your unethical behavior is discovered.
  3. Don’t idealize politics: Understand that politics is less about what you know and more about what you don’t know. Idealists are those who think that a political party can provide security and prosperity; they will eventually be disappointed. The world of politics is a sausage factory, you will never know the inner workings for sure until you are on the inside. Don’t assume that you know what is really going on.
  4. Take a break from all forms of media:  In all forms of modern media, you are a passive receptacle save one. Reading is a form of media that you can analyze and interpret. All other media feeds you a diet of information where you are passively inculcating views that you may not accept if you would have read them on paper. Every once in a while take a break from this and allow yourself time to clear your mind. You will be shocked when you realize how many messages are being fed to you through media.
  5. Study everything, join nothing: Don’t be the first one to join. Study whatever it is seeking to truly understand what you are joining. Be suspicious of anyone that wants you to join something without allowing you time to study whatever it is. If you are pressed to join without time to study it, flatly refuse. You are likely being duped and have been thought of as an easy mark.
  6. If someone has a get rich quick scheme: Don’t give them a moment of your time. Avoid them and tell them flatly with no emotion that you are not interested. I have allowed friends and acquaintances far too much time pitching me a get-rich-quick-scheme. This almost always fail. (Do #1 or #2 instead).
  7. Learn a trade: You must learn to do something with your own hands. Here is a secret though that many tradesmen have failed to learn. Just because you have learned a trade does not mean that your trade has to be the source of your income. Some men learn and trade and their trade pays their way in the world. There is nothing inherently wrong with this, but it does not have to be that way. You must learn a trade to be sure, and any of these trades will work: painting, construction, plumbing, woodworking, tent-making, welding, or some other skilled trade. Learn it, but don’t stop learning or assume that because you have learned it that you can’t do something else.  Be a CEO that knows how to paint a house. This will allow you to relate to the working man in a way that many CEO’s are incapable of understanding.
  8. Play chess: Chess is an ancient game going back to the 6th Century. Chess is a thinking man’s game and will teach you about life. If you are hasty in chess, you will lose. If you are not thinking or planning ahead, you will lose. Chess requires that you understand the moves that the pieces can make and the dichotomy between what moves can be made over against what moves should be made. People are just like chess pieces, they can often make a move but chess will teach you to consider whether those moves should be made. This is an important lesson that you must understand. Sometimes, there is a surprise waiting to devour you if you are not looking ahead. You will have people who oppose you in life, knowing all the ways they can seek to neutralize you or your position will help you plan your next steps.
  9. Spend time with old men: When I was a younger man, I was a volunteer fireman. There were several “old-timers” that would hang around the fire department. I listened to their stories and spent time asking them questions. They will give you bits of wisdom if you will listen to them. They are looking back on their lives and can see very clearly the mistakes that they made, learn from their mistakes. Notice, old men that are still around travel in packs (see #10). You will find them in donut shops, restaurants, and barber shops. Be friendly, strike up a conversation, and then listen to the wisdom they have to offer.
  10. Make friends: As mentioned above, old-timers travel in packs. Having male friends is vitally important for you as a man. First and foremost, you should not just have your *family* as your only friends. This will leave you miserable, unhappy, and ultimately alone. Men are the leaders of their families, even when they aren’t good at it. You need male friendship because you can learn from them and ultimately they will help you in life. Never, under any circumstances should you share your problems with the women in your life. They will consider you weak, and ultimately will be repulsed by your frailty. This is why men need male friends. Men will help other men especially those who are their friends. Be prepared to do the same for them. Never allow your wife, girlfriend, or significant other to isolate you from your friends. Work at your friendships by getting together for coffee, or better yet a beer.
  11. Pick your friends wisely: It is important to have friends but pick them wisely. Do not make friends with losers, druggies, thieves, or liars. Stay away from the socially awkward.
  12. Be a man-child: Do not completely give up on playing practical jokes or having fun. There is a time to be serious, especially as it pertains to your work or education. However, you must hold firmly to your youth as well. Play the occasional practical joke and have a good laugh. Only play practical jokes on male friends and do so on occasion. Do not play practical jokes on women especially older women they generally do not enjoy such shenanigans. Do not allow those around you to make you into a robot that no longer knows how to have boyish fun. Life is painfully short and at times exceedingly difficult, take time once in a while to enjoy it.
  13. Have a library and a man cave: As a corollary (to #11) have a well stocked library that contains philosophical treatises, business information, books on science, auto mechanics, aviation or other topics. Be sure to read these books and highlight important or interesting topics. Also, have a man cave that contains enjoyable diversions. Do not spend too much time in either but do not neglect one for the other.
  14. Learn how to pack a pipe: Smoking a pipe is not culturally acceptable. However, you must learn how to properly pack a pipe and on occasion enjoy the peace of mind that smoking a pipe imparts. Do not allow political correctness to spoil a pastime that men have enjoyed for hundreds of years. Do not overdo this but enjoy this pastime in moderation. Avoid those who would negate your freedom to enjoy this simple pastime. The same holds true for cigars but realize that a cigar says something different about you than a pipe. Pipes help you reflect on the world, cigars show you to be assertive. If you are trying to assert yourself choose a cigar but for contemplation choose a pipe.
  15. Do not allow yourself to become overweight and you must fight against it: Allowing yourself to become overweight is a sad state of affairs. First, the world will judge you harshly. People that are overweight will never be viewed the same way as skinny people. There are no civil protections for fat people. You will be made fun of and people will look down upon you if you are a glutton. If you sense that you are going to be overweight you must fight this with all your might. Fat people that have given up will be lampooned and made fun of mercilessly. Fight against this and you will have the respect of those around you. Giving up and giving in will ultimately cause you to lose credibility with friends and family and you will be miserable.
  16. Work on a farm if possible: Working on a farm will remind you how hard it is to grow food and how much effort it takes to raise livestock, harvest crops, and will keep you grounded in life. Farmers are men that live off the land in a real sense and are reminded every year about the power of nature. Do not look down on farmers or view their lifestyle as unusual or strange. Farming is what keeps our country fed.
  17. Spend time in the woods (by yourself): Many urban and suburban men have never spent even five minutes in the woods by themselves. These men have been shortchanged in a most profound way. When a man spends time in the woods by himself he understands that there is not simply his world (the world of hustle and bustle) but there are many worlds all happening simultaneously around him. Nature is ordered, and has a rhythm that will allow you to see more clearly the falsity of modern man’s rhythm. There is a profound lack of noise in the natural world, but the sounds you will hear are conjoined with a purpose. Once you return to the world of work and of man you will have a better understanding of how much noise you are exposed to on a daily basis. You can then retreat to the woods to remember once again that noise is not the default position of the world.
  18. Learn the difference between the destitute and the con-man: Never look down upon the destitute but do not trust every beggar. Some men will run a con on you and will take your money without hesitation. Learn to discern the difference. Help those men who need a helping hand but refuse those who are con men. Not every sad story is really sad nor is every beggar a con man. If a man says he is hungry offer to feed him but if he refuses food or work, keep your money lest you become like him.
  19. Always know your surroundings: If you are in a bad part of town, do not act like you are out of place. Blend in by not acting uncomfortable or out of place. If you act like you are out of place, it will be a dead-give-away that you do not belong. You will become a victim. Keep your emotions under control and watch your body language (see #20)
  20. Watch your body language: This is especially important if you find yourself in a bad part of town or around people that might want to harm you. First, do not smile too much. If someone first smiles at you then quickly return the smile but do not walk or drive through such an area wearing a smile. A smile is fine for your children or your wife but a smile in a bad area or around bad people is an invitation to be victimized. A smile says “I am passive and submissive” the absolute wrong message. If you must walk through such an area, stand up straight and tall, do not smile and avoid eye contact. Act as though you are perfectly comfortable and you will be allowed to pass through without difficulty.  In other social settings, do not slouch. Stand up straight and tall and raise your chin slightly. This is very important if you are short. A short man that slouches looks utterly pathetic.
  21. Never let a woman drive you around: Unless you have lost both legs, been shot or stabbed defending your family, or are in some way incapacitated be a man and drive the car. This is especially true if you have a mini-van. Men that are riding in the passenger side of the car or mini-van are the lowest form of male. If your woman insists on driving, refuse to go or drive separately. This may seem trivial but it is a really important lesson for you to learn. A man who allows himself to be driven around by his woman will never have her full respect nor will he ever feel good about this, when you are dating a woman tell her upfront that she will never ever drive you anywhere unless you expressly request it or one of the unfortunate things above has befallen you.
  22. Principle #21 applies to other things as well: Do not allow your woman to be the one that is taking out the trash, cutting the grass, or dealing with conflict. Woman may well enjoy these activities and even insist upon doing them. You should only allow this if absolutely necessary for her happiness. Woman may enjoy this but if you hand these tasks over without a fight you will lose some of her respect. Also, you must remember that men will make a judgement about you if they see your woman doing yard work while you are inside. Do not allow a woman to handle conflicts with another man. If a woman is having a conflict with another woman then by all means allow her to deal with it, (you should not know how to handle these emotional conflicts anyway) but if she has a conflict with a man you must intervene if at all possible.
  23. Learn to handle a bully or a group of bullies: You must understand that everything you have been taught in school about handling bullies has no point of correspondence with the real world. You have been fed a diet of well-meaning-but-ultimately wrong liberal non-sense. Eventually, you will find yourself in a situation where you are being bullied. There will be no well-meaning teacher or police officer close at hand to assist you in resolving the issue. If you are being bullied follow this advice: 1. Warn them to stop, if they cease nothing further is warranted. If they do not cease and desist, then 2. Warn them again. If they persist in their bullying do not speak again. If they are significantly bigger than you, hit them where it counts and run for it. If they are smaller or a similar size stand your ground and hit them in the nose. You cannot reason with a bully, they are acting on emotion and will not listen to reason. They will not care about how you are feeling and you have a choice to make. You can stand up for yourself or you can endure being bullied. If you choose the latter, you will soon find that you are being bullied in all areas of your life. This will even become the standard fair with the woman in your life (you will soon find yourself in the passenger seat of your mini-van). If there is a group of bullies then follow this sage advice: Find the biggest one, act like you are absolutely insane and attack. The others will scatter, guaranteed.
  24. Don’t be an email or text Superman: Many men reveal their feminine (read:beta) nature by sending out passive-aggressive emails. These same men are generally cowards. They will send out an email but will be unwilling to meet with you to discuss the content. If you have something to say to someone, if you are not willing to meet with them in person and say it to their face, then keep it to yourself.  I have utterly lost respect for several men because of these acts of cowardice.
  25. Don’t entertain derogatory comments about your friends: If a man wants to bad mouth one of your friends, stop him immediately. Direct him to your friend and do not entertain such comments. These men are the same kind of cowards that send out passive aggressive emails (#24).
  26. Give a firm handshake: There is nothing worse than the man who shakes your hand by handing you an impotently limp hand. Generally these men are insecure and lack confidence. When shaking hands, firmly grasp hands and squeeze. The man with a sweaty hand (for no apparent reason) is of the nervous sort and you should avoid befriending such a person. Also beware of the man that is attempting to break your hand with his handshake. He is most certainly over compensating for something.
  27. Watch the eyes: You can pick out a man who lacks confidence or is passive by watching his eyes. Men that break eye contact first, don’t make eye contact or look down are submissive and lack confidence. Force yourself to maintain strong eye contact. It will help you exude confidence.
  28. Smile and don’t smile: Don’t be the man that smiles at every person. Smile at other men on occasion as this demonstrates friendliness but don’t walk around smiling at every woman or child. This shows submissiveness and honestly women don’t like it.
  29. Conceal your emotions: Tell your children that you love them but conceal all other emotions. As a man you must maintain your stoicism. The world is telling you that to be a man you should be just as emotional as a woman. This is false in every sense. You are a man and you do not have a feminine side. You are to be the strength for your family and while you should tell your children and occasionally your wife that you love them, you must not gush with emotion. Your strength resides in your masculinity not in a faux form of femininity contrived by feminists in order to level the playing field.
  30. Have principles and standards: Have some firmly grounded principles and other principles that you are willing to abdicate for your own happiness. Have standards for what you like and don’t like and don’t just accept everything or everyone if they don’t measure up to your standards.
  31. Stay away from fads: There is nothing so weak as a man that gives into every fad. The man that got tattoos because everyone else was doing it, or falls in with the crowd and participates in every new cultural meme is not a  real man. Learn to be your own man. Read Kierkegaard and become that one individual man. Do not just be another tapioca offering but rather learn to avoid fads and take your own road. Be a social man and keep company with other good men but don’t throw your hat into every ring. If you support a cause, then do so because you believe in it not because everyone else is doing it. A few years ago, people were doing an ice bucket challenge. This was a worthy cause but many people did “it” just because everyone else was doing it. Don’t be that guy, if you support the cause then support it with your time and efforts but jumping on the bandwagon just makes you look like a fool.
  32. Don’t be sure you know more than another man: Sometimes you will be a man’s intellectual superior and other times you will not. Many men paint themselves as a jackass-par-excellence because they assumed (incorrectly) that they were superior when in fact they proved to be a lesser man. A man who is well-read, competent, and confident will not beat the air attempting to prove to you his value. This behavior will be demonstrated by the lesser man, as he has something to prove.
  33. Don’t trust the pro-choice woman: This is a bit of counter-cultural advice. Certainly, it is controversial but it is nonetheless true. A woman that will choose to terminate the life of an unborn baby, will have no use for you once you become an invalid, unconscious, or unable to perform your perfunctory duty. Avoid the pro-choice woman at all costs. Allow her to maintain her ignorant worldview and do not attempt to argue with such a woman. Her mind is tainted in a terribly dark way and you are wasting your time.
  34. Don’t trust a pro-choice man either: This man cannot be trusted either. He has given up on his natural use of reason and is attempting to pacify the pro-choice women in his life. He is the supreme exemplar of the beta male. This man is no friend of yours nor is a friend of women. He will likely work in academia, you should avoid this man.
  35. Stay away from animal rights activists: These people are utterly confused. While I can generally agree with the premise (animals should not be tortured) these people are the most misanthropic people on earth. They would rather see you killed (if you take umbrage with their non-sense) and will generally not be able to string together a cogent thought.
  36. Use caution around vegans: Vegans hate their own bodies, therefore they are not generally good friends. They deny their bodies that which it desires (protein) and replace it with food that is really only for herbivores. The human animal is an omnivore by default. Most vegans are committed evolutionists which makes little sense in light of the notion of the survival of the fittest. Some vegetarians (like my sister-love you!) simply cannot take the texture of meat. These are not the “vegans” in view here. The vegans to which I refer are those guilty of getting on board with veganism because their hearts bleed for animals.
  37. Dress accordingly: Learn how to tie a Windsor knot, how to iron your clothes, and how to dress for success. Do not go into public looking like you just crawled out of a tar pit. People will judge you based solely on their own perception of how you present yourself. Some people go through life looking the part of a bum and wonder why they are never successful.
  38.  Be decisive: Many men fail in life because they lack the courage to be decisive. In your life you must learn to make a decision and stick by it, no matter what the consequences. If you have made a poor decision then learn from your mistake. There are many men who are so scared of making a decision that they abdicate this responsibility to their wives or girlfriends. This will create the worst possible outcome for you. Women do not want to be the decision maker, despite what feminists say.
  39. Be confrontational: Learn to embrace conflict. Far too many men demonstrate their extreme cowardice by avoiding conflict. These men are fearful of every confrontation. Do not be like these men, make certain that you become comfortable with conflict. You will have many friendships forged in the furnace of conflict. These are often the best friendships you will have, but do not wilt if you are confronted by someone. Be courageous even if you have to fight the urge to flee with every fiber of your being.
  40. Know your family history: Our family history includes members of the aristocracy, knights, land owners, professional athletes, military heroes, explorers and world-renowned researchers. You are blessed with a family history that you can be proud of, remember not everyone has that kind of lineage. But everyone should know their family history and should be able to find at least one remarkable member of their family. Use that person as the starting point for building your legacy.
  41. Be proud of your last name: As a corollary to #40, you have a last name. This was given to you at birth and it is yours for your entire life. Remember the legacy of your family and do us proud. Do not tarnish or stain your last name as this is often very difficult to undue. Our last name is unusual and sometimes people will want to poke fun at it. Always stand up for your last name, in our case we have a proud family history and you should not allow anyone to trample your last name just because it is uncommon. In fact, you should feel somewhat sorry for those with a common last name, they must work that much harder to set themselves apart.
  42. Ride a horse: Horses only ceased being man’s method of conveyance in the last few hundred years. Horses are animals that will tell you much about the nature of man, and of other people. They are large and gentle creatures once they have been *broken* but in the wild they run free. The world will seek to do the same to you. The world will attempt to break you, but as a man you were born to run free.

About blogginbaldguy

Philosopher, Hockey Coach, and unashamed hoarder of blogs. I write whatever interests me at the moment but mostly its hockey, philosophy, and issues surrounding masculinity and manhood.
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