Tuesday, 27 October 2015

What It Is, Jive Turkey

So what’s wrong with the world?

Ask just about anyone and they’ll have a list and a sermon that they are eager to share. And I’ll bet that “Stupid People” will be in the top-three of most people’s rants. Trouble is, LOTS of people use this to describe others when they don’t understand why they do what they do, as in “Just what is that moron thinking?” Sadly, we’ve all been on both ends of those comments. Sometimes it’s justified, sometimes it isn’t.

However, a problem that is rarely discussed is that men are terrible at making & keeping friends. Back in the day (look at me, all urban n’shit), men had groups like Freemasons, Elks, and the Grand Lodge of the Water Buffalo. Trouble is, they were religiously inclined, and more and more people are relying on evidence and reason, ahead of faith.

So here’s what I propose: ManCrafting. Men meeting regularly to discuss issues. If it’s personal, he’s in a safe place where can let his machismo down. If it’s social, he can get some feedback, perspective, and information.

I think that a lot of us would like to see an antithesis of the Entitlement Mentality. Somewhere along the line, “I’m OK you’re OK” mutated into “You can’t judge me!” (And not cool-mutated, like Wolverine, but more like some gasping blob from a first-year Hogwarts student, begging you to kill it) I sure as shit know that my “Genuine Me” needs some work and refinement, and I’ll bet that yours does too. Let’s focus on our growth and responsibilities; you know those things we forget when we’re chirping-off about our rights?

Let’s educate ourselves, and learn to measure things with reason and evidence so we’re not swept along by habit, hoopla and herd-mentality.

Let’s get together to spur each other into an upward spiral!  Let’s be virtuous, and show the world that we’re not just a bunch of grown boys who can’t see any further than the next game, or teasing inches of cleavage.  

For months, I’ve been wondering how to start such a thing. Then, inspiration hit from another group: NaNoWriMo. In November, writers around the world come together, online and in various coffee houses and pubs, for National Novel Writing Month. Each sets a goal to crank out 50,000 words in 30 days. It’s not about great writing, it’s about goal-realization and camaraderie and support.

I propose to take that idea, but modify the goal. In fact, each participant modifies the goal for themselves. These goals can fit under the headings of physical, mental, or emotional. If you’ve got and exercise routine, amp it up over a month (with the input of a doctor or trainer if needs be). If not, start one (ease into it; don’t be an idiot and go all gung-ho-mo-fo right off the hop). Mental is pretty self-explanatory; learn something outside of your comfort zone, enhance yourself in your profession, or better yet, find the best ways to gather and filter information.

But the emotional, there’s the ambiguous, sticky shit. I’m thinking of the core philosophical maxim: Know Thyself. Self-knowledge, that’s fucking MONEY right there. Your perspectives and your biases shape how you experience EVERYTHING. To not be aware of this is to be just pulled along by currents and tides.

So let’s take November and go Boot Camp on ourselves. Let’s get some good habits that will start the journey of Self Mastery.


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