More from The Art of Manliness:
But maybe the truest calling of man lies in the wilderness of life; in learning to thrive in the environments where complete control is not possible.
Think about every man you looked up to as a kid. Chances are they continually faced environments outside their complete control. Environments in which there was no guarantee of safety or success. Where one can only hope to influence rather than rule. Firefighters dueling with fire, soldiers battling the fog and friction of war, explorers traversing foreign territories, pilot’s pushing the boundaries of flight, or even the missionary working in inner-city New York. Each learning to thrive without being in control.
I know what you’re saying at this point. “Great, but I am a web designer and father of twins, not GI Joe or Vasco de Gama.” But, placing yourself in an environment outside your control does not necessarily mean changing jobs or even leaving the suburbs. It could be as simple as mentoring a troubled youth, working a few weekends each month at a homeless shelter, learning a hobby that has always seemed daunting to you, or starting the business you’ve been secretly planning during your work breaks for the past 6 years. Something that requires you to leave your comfort zone and step into unexplored territory. No guarantees of success. The hard way.
The suburbs convince us that the pinnacle of life consists of comfort, safety, and control. And the man that finally succumbs to this deadly logic is a miserable creature forced to live off the exhilaration of other men’s feats.
As George C. Scott so eloquently said it in the movie “Patton,” as he addressed an auditorium full of soldiers on the eve of their deployment to Europe, “Thirty years from now, when you’re sitting around your fireside with your grandson on your knee and he asks you, ‘What did you do in the great World War II,” you won’t have to say, “Well… I shoveled sh*% in Louisiana.’”Full story