Author and survivor of multiple Nazi concentration camps Dr. Viktor E. Frankl has some heavy perspectives on seeking happiness in his book Man’s Search for Meaning. His descriptions of life as a captive in the hellish camps is horrifying, yet his insights are brilliant. He writes “success, like happiness cannot be pursued, it must ensue, and it does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself”. He stresses modern humans tend to look for happiness directly rather than by first seeking purpose. Frankl encourages finding a purpose larger than oneself; out of that, meaning will become clearer, and happiness will then be the side effect.
The 2020 book You’re a Miracle (and a pain in the ass) by Mike McHargue addresses the pursuit of so-called happiness: “We’ve been trained by our culture to believe that happiness is the best feeling, and that life is about trying to achieve it. What if our own distaste for these other emotions is making us miserable?” Interesting point. We tend to seek pleasure and avoid everything else, even numbing our pain with chemicals, food, or digital distraction. What if we could experience a heightened level of satisfaction through the trials of personal growth and a worthy cause “greater than oneself” rather than directly seeking happiness, usually by misguided chasing of money, accolades, or women?
Men often falsely believe they can make a woman happy. Consider how arrogant and absurd that notion is. Females can certainly benefit from males attempting to please them but pause and consider how little it affects female happiness in the long run. Women need to do their own work to find happiness, it will not be gifted from a man.
When we men are interacting with females it is important to keep in mind that female agendas are biologically and emotionally driven. Women are so complex as to confound even themselves; there is more hormonal and emotional baggage there than we could process in a lifetime. Dr Jordan Peterson cites a dating study in his book Twelve Rules for Life that found women rate eighty-five percent of men as below average in attractiveness. That defies all logic. Or does it? Female mate selection is somewhat delusional, but it is a product of evolution. It is a fact of life and always has been. A man may find himself being rejected by the fickle females he approaches, statistically most men are. It is infinitely wiser to focus on developing the masculine self, and after a time, women will do the chasing instead. Proceed carefully at that point, weigh the benefit/risk ratio before getting involved. Our biology drives us to fuck, yet it could prove to be the riskiest and most expensive activity we could ever engage in.
There is no shortage of women looking to complete their biological agenda and may select you to be a father or more likely a stepfather in the process. Society does need more involved fathers; we can be a huge positive influence and source of security for our kids. It might be the best way to build a better, stronger, more stable country in the long run. Fatherhood is not for the faint of heart, so choose the mother of your children carefully. It is not an easy time in history to be a father, as our legal system tends to side with the mother. This makes us easily disposed of in the form of divorce, dads then become provisioners from afar paying their child support and vying with family court for visitation with the kids.
History tells us that after widespread agriculture, men generally held more power than women in society (at least overtly) and of course I am not endorsing a return to this way of life. Today however, we must recognize the reality that women are entering new and unfamiliar territory as the openly dominant gender. Millenia as the subordinate gender has no doubt shaped the female brain in a particular fashion. Female agendas were likely kept in check throughout human existence by a more dominant male presence that set firm boundaries. Today, that type of male role has (and continues to) fall away. Some people are pleased by this, and others are not, in either case we can agree it is happening.
Clearly in parts of the world conditions are horrible for females. I suspect that there is a prevailing notion among women that so long as even one female is mistreated anywhere on the planet by a male, then there is no justice for women and girls whatsoever. That is just not logical, in the western world it may actually be the best time and place in history to be a woman. Life rarely gets entirely easy for men or for women even in developed nations (yet I sense a female expectation that it should). Perhaps for that reason, strong primal instinct tells women that they are still oppressed and need to fight on. Naturally, women can and do find examples of powerful men and/or improper male conduct as so-called evidence to justify that belief.
Patriarchy is extinct in the United States. It makes no sense to me that women today in first world countries are “fighting” oppression they have never experienced. Powerless floundering males that have not oppressed anyone are groveling and apologizing to these same women, to no avail. This is utter bullshit and we males must not engage in the charade.
Men, we must respect ourselves enough to build a better life that has more freedom, not less.
Seeking out challenges help us become more resilient, this in turn will open more levels of challenge and related rewards. This will not be the path well-travelled, because of prevailing attitudes of entitlement that are so normalized today. I theorize that the self-esteem movement laid the foundation for the newer phenomenon of “cancel culture.” Rather than demanding freedom of speech, some today fight righteously for the exact opposite; the silencing or “canceling” of speech (or individuals) that upsets them. How delightful for our government, a large portion of our population demanding limitations of various freedoms so they can “feel safe.” Our culture has largely abandoned the qualities of resilience and responsibility. Instead, it normalizes a victim mentality that requires handouts and ever more restrictive legislation to feel better. What a perplexing time to be a masculine male in a society that does not value it.
Clearly it is time to put those phones down and get out into nature, build a business, or get to a gym. Men and boys are now expected to instead focus on developing their guilt, shame, subservience, and apology. An article on LBC from the U.K. in March 2021 describes a school in Australia that recently called an assembly so boys could stand and symbolically apologize for their gender’s hurting or offending girls and women. Abuse, sexual or otherwise, is unethical, we can agree on that, yet the politically correct clearly want far more and seek to denigrate males. Ideally the genders would have love and respect for each other. Our modern war on men is unfortunate and truly misguided. It is angry and comes partially from a place of female fear, fear of the atrocities and oppression that men are capable of. Our rulers and elites capitalize by pitting females against males and consolidate more power to themselves in the process. Vilifying boys and men ultimately harms males in society so we must not participate in this campaign. Instead let us support one another as men and mentor young males so they may become strong, capable, and ethical (while doing the same ourselves).
I participate in a MMA practice each Friday evening and on Wednesday evenings, tie on a well-worn white belt for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes in the same basement gym. There is much value in fight training for men. Even as a relative beginner it is absolutely rewarding and life altering for the better; our psychological and physical durability can be increased, resulting in a more positive state of being. As one of the oldest men in the gym tribe, I encourage the guys in their teens and twenties to stick with fight training as it will benefit them throughout their lives. In our present culture, true self confidence, personal strength, and the capacity for violence (only when necessary) is generally discouraged. The politically correct strive to strip away the darker traits that remain fundamental aspects of masculinity, yet we need those aspects (tempered with ethics and responsibility).
Sales of my books are rising, positive reviews and ratings are trending up, men are subscribing to my blog and others are writing to convey how valuable the Ethos of Men content is for them. Men’s work is important and meaningful work, thank you for being a part of it.
Again, well said.