The Modern Man
Is the modern man a savage or a gentleman? A hunter or a philosopher? A manual laborer or a technophile? In today's culture the modern man must be all of these. The modern man must be adaptable. Never before has the burden upon men in any society been greater than in today's modern culture. We must be fathers, husbands, lovers, laborers, spiritual leaders, fighters, hunters, farmers, defenders and protectors. Although the definition of a man will never change, the definition of what is modern will change. At the very core of man-regardless of his socioeconomic position in life, is the desire to be hunter, gatherer, lover, protector and provider. Society today, technology and our ever-evolving culture has dictated to us how we do those things. Many of these changes are for the better. Misogyny and a boastful machismo attitude is looked down upon in our society and culture today. It is far overdue for these actions of weakness and insecurity be done away with, however the pendulum can often swing too far in one direction if we allow it. The modern man must walk a fine line today of strength, character and determination wrapped neatly with meekness, humility and servant leadership by example.
Unfortunately in today's society, we are surrounded by technology and other conveniences that we may tend to allow to diminish our knowledge and skill set as men. These conveniences aren't evil in of themselves but like any addiction, we can become reliant on them to our detriment. Living in a metropolitan area is great. Conveniences such as Uber and public transportation abound, but does that mean we need not know how to drive a car or a motorcycle? Great food and restaurants are easily accessible, but does that mean we shouldn't learn and regularly practice how to cook and clean up after ourselves? Just because most of us don't need brute strength to haul things around all day doesn't mean we shouldn't exercise those muscles for our benefit. The modern man should be fully equipped to function in any setting-whether he's attending a gala and needs to tie a tie or he's lost on a hike and needs to find food, shelter and his way home. A very limited skill set in a few specific areas should be a concern as we step back and evaluate ourselves.
A modern man never stops learning. He changes and adapts to new things, technologies, styles, trends and skills. We can always be looking for opportunities to humble ourselves with a teachable spirit in order to learn something new. Brute force and bodily strength can only get a man so far. Like his body, the modern man's mind must be exercised and learning constantly. If you are stuck in a rut and are unsure how to proceed, you may lack confidence or security in yourself and the place to start is with a plan. If you have no goal or aim for no target, you will always hit it. It is difficult to admit sometimes, but most people literally need to write out a plan or a road map for their life. I have found in my personal experience that it can be very difficult for a man who lacks goals to find fulfillment in his personal life and in his relationships with others. Why are we here? Where are we going? What is our purpose? Many self-help books exist to guide us through this process of serious reflection to find the answers to these and other very basic questions many people struggle to find the time to answer. One day we will look back and realize the brevity of life and the gravity of these very real questions we all must come to grips with at some point in our lives. The modern man not only understands these answers, but reflects on them often and does his best to accomplish his goals in the seemingly insignificant and mundane tasks of his everyday life.
A well-rounded, broad set of skills and mental exercise is definitely important for the modern man, but more important is his character, integrity and contribution to society and his local community. After all, we are judged in the end-no matter our feats great or small-on how we treated our fellow man. The impact we leave behind can be far longer reaching and lasting than something we built or accomplished years after we've left this 3rd Rock from the sun. How are we using our manual skills and mental capacity to help others? Whether we realize it now or as we gasp for our final breaths of air we've freely enjoyed and taken mostly for granted, we must consider how we have impacted the people around us. Regardless of his resources, the modern man shows sympathy and empathy to others by using whatever resources or skills he has to better the lives of other people. His character is steady, he is dependable and will always be there for his family, friends and even a stranger in need. He is firm in his resolve to accomplish his goals yet selfless, compassionate, tender to those less fortunate and in need. He is steady and unmovable like an oak but pliable enough to bend so when the storms of life come, he will not break. He defends and protects children, the broken hearted, the elderly, the poor and the defenseless yet requires not even a thank you because his reward is greater than anything anyone can give. He loves even his enemies because he knows he is no better than anyone else by simply loving someone who loved him back. He continuously empties himself for the greater good yet is continuously filled with the satisfaction from knowing he is helping others selflessly. The modern man is a well-rounded, skilled, adaptable, grounded, meek servant-leader who is constantly exercising his body, mind and spirit for the benefit of himself and his selfless love of others. May all of us strive to be better than we were yesterday and greater than we thought we were ever able tomorrow.
Nathan S. Sanders