Dear Son: Become a Man

Dear son,

Becoming a man is a dangerous choice. You will often find yourself in the minority.

The society we live in promotes political correctness, affirmative action, transient bonds, and single moms. (I will touch more upon these in future letters.) Thus, masculine traits of truth, meritocracy, loyalty, and fatherhood are not encouraged.

Look at magazine covers and popular TV shows and advertisements. Soft males have been plastered on every aspect of media. Metrosexual males. Males in touch with their feelings. Males who lack spines.

Safe. Clean. Neutered.

Where are the men — those with strength, courage, and a bit of wildness?

Most of them have been socially engineered out of society through luxury, easy, and conformity.

Why? Those who control society fear men. Strength, courage, and wildness threaten the establishment. People who possess those traits ask questions and take action. They are hard to control and thus unpredictable.

As a result, those in power seek to prevent such men from sprouting up — through indoctrination in school, inappropriate role models in media, and lack of guidance. And most boys grow up to become something not quite men and not quite women — soft, weak males.

Soft and weak grown boys. I don’t blame them. I don’t blame little Johnny. They don’t know any better.

They could have become men in a different era. But they are not men in this one.

Thus, men are scarce.

By now, you’re probably asking, “What is man?”

A man is not defined by his age and his genitalia. You can reach a certain age and have a deep voice & facial hair and still not be a man. You can be male, but not a man. For your sake, I hope that will not be the case.

A man is not a victim. He is not someone shaped and defeated by the circumstances. He is not someone tossed here and there by the winds. Rather, he is someone who shapes the environment. He is the waterfall hitting against the rock. And eventually, the rock will give. He controls his destiny as much as God allows him to.

A man is defined by his actions.

The opposite of a man is a child. Children are helpless. They rely on the strength of others to survive. They are victims. They are shaped by their environments.

Look at little Johnny … your friend who needs constant hand-holding from his pop. If his circumstance does not change, he will never become a man, but will remain a boy. Every time he gets in a jam, he has his pop on speed-dial to bail him out.

I’m not going to be like Johnny’s dad. When you get in trouble or face a problem, you will solve it. I’ll give you advice. I may even lend a helping hand during the rare situation when poop hits the fan. But largely, you are on your own.

You will face your environment and you will attempt to shape it. You may win. You may lose. It doesn’t matter. But you must attempt. It is only through the process of solving your own problems that you become a man.

You must shape the environment or it will shape you. Will you resist the propaganda bombarded around you and become a man? Or will you confirm and become a soft, emotional, metrosexual male?

Shaping the environment means combat. You must resist against the forces trying to shape you and you must impose your will onto the world. The essence of man is combat.

When you think of combat, you think of the physical. Fist fights in the school yard on the small scale. World wars on the grand scale. It is true. You can shape your environment through physical force.

But you must broaden your mind. Physical combat is frowned upon and is a last resort in modern society. Essentially, you don’t engage in physical combat until you have exhausted all other options. Where would the world be if all conflicts were resolved through fists, knives, guns, and nuclear bombs?

A man engages in 3 forms of combat: physical, mental, and spiritual. In other words, you shape your environment through physical strength, mental strength, and spiritual strength.

When you go to your boss and ask for a raise, you are engaging in mental combat. You must convince your boss that you should get a raise. How will you do that?

Will you convince by precedence? (“I received a raise every year in the past and deserve one this year.”)

Or by your need? (“I have a new child coming and will need extra money to cover the expenses.”)

Or even by threat? (“I have another job offer and will need more money if you want me to stay.”)

There could be a thousand ways to ask for a raise, but the right one depends on the situation and your mental strength.

Asking for a raise is just one example of shaping the environment with your mind. Writing contracts. Selling your product to an interested party. Persuading a girl to go out with you. These all count on the small scale.

If you can expand the reach, you can scale up. Defending your position among a judge and 12 jurors. Spreading your idea through books. Winning the election for mayor (or even the President of the US). These are all examples of mental combat on a grander scale.

In polite, modern society, all forms of combat are mental. Physical combat are extremely frowned upon and can land you in prison. If you don’t want to become a dumb, strong bull of a man but a more well-rounded one, you must strengthen your mind for combat. It will be a very good investment of your time.

Spiritual warfare is just as common as mental combat, but even fewer people are aware of it. Every single decision you make regarding right and wrong falls upon this realm.

You will need strength of the soul to do right when most people do wrong. However, you will find that the strength of your soul falter more often than not.

From the first day mankind existed until now, we have made remarkable progress in terms of the physical and mental. People live longer, healthier lives. We know what we should eat. We know how to cure many diseases. And for the ones we cannot cure, we know how to prevent the symptoms. We know how the world works and expanded our knowledge in every single field of study. We made technological advances where one person today can do as much as 100 people in his grandfather’s era. Today, one man can shape the world, in front of his computer and without leaving the house.

But in terms of the soul — or morals and of right and wrong — mankind made no progress. There may be more checks and balances to curb the unbridled destructive thirst of evil. But the heart still remains as filthy and devious as ever.

In the end, a weak soul who constantly engages in evil will come to ruin — in this life or in the next one when he is judged in front of his Maker.

A man will need strength of body, mind, and soul to shape the environment.

And strength is something you must acquire on your own. Everyone is born weak, coming out of his mother’s womb as a baby flailing his limbs. He knows nothing but the voice of his mother and the innate desire of satisfying self.

What set each person apart are the choices he makes in life. Does he remain a baby? A child? Or does he become a man and seek strength to shape his environment?

In the process of forging yourself into a man, you will find happiness. Your struggle and eventual growth is the game of life that gives you meaning. At the end of each day, you go to bed in satisfaction knowing that you faced your battles. And tomorrow, you will fight another one.

Should you choose to become a man, you must embrace your masculine spirit. Defy convention and have courage to be who God created you to be … a man. Do not be shaped by your environment. But instead, shape your environment with boldness and cleverness.



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  1. Hi Alex,

    I agree with most of what you said but are you saying a real man cannot get in touch with his feelings, or show emotion or weakness, hell or even look metro sexual? I think this is a fallacy a lot of men fall into today that causes problems down the line. In doing so they reject parts of themselves and give up real chances to grow. I don’t think a man is defined by how he looks or acts but by who he is down to the core and what he really believes about himself. Could you please elaborate your thoughts on this?

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