In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
– Excerpt from Invictus by William Ernest Henley
Have you ever felt fear? Have you ever felt depressed, anxious, or despondent? Have you ever been in a difficult situation? 100% of you should say yes to these questions. How, then, did you act in response to these situations?
Learning to handle difficult circumstances is at the heart of truly becoming a man. Weakness and cowardice are fully foreign concepts to authentic traditional masculinity. There is a push in many circles for men to become more “in touch” with their feelings, expressing them in more feminine manners. It is, of course, a necessary and commendable task for a man to understand his thoughts and emotions, always acting with prudence and courage; nevertheless, this attack on traditional masculine expression is done either of ignorance of how men process things or out of pure malice.
We have previously discussed, on the podcast, the importance of goals and forward thinking and planning for all men. A good bit of imagery for this is a man on a journey. Before he begins to trek down the trail, he pulls up maps, he identifies obstacles and rest areas, and ensures he has adequate resources. Nevertheless, unexpected events transpire. I guarantee the infamous Donner Party did not set out with a cookbook for human in their backpack.
How we respond to these bumps, potholes, or sometimes even enemies on our path is a critical part of our own masculine journey. Our modern world is filled with perils that will distract and derail us on our own paths. So what do you do when faced by these obstacles?
Stay the course.
Do not stray from the path you have prudently set out upon when you falter, are defeated, or find yourself lured away by the siren calls of the world. Humbly work to achieve an indomitable will that will carry you through difficult times, but also practice the stoic art of intentional discomfort, training your mind and body to be comfortable with bad thoughts and feelings.
Do not be so flexible that your plans change at the sight of any wind, but also make sure that your are not too rigid that you are unable to see your own follies too. Prudence dictates that we apply wisdom and practicality to all endeavors. Sisyphean tasks for the sake of ego or personal glory will not make you like your heroes, but will have you relegated to the dusty bin of hopeless causes.
So chin up, men! When times are tough or the world is against you, this is when we need you the most. A true, vital, saintly masculinity is what gives life to our dying civilization. If you find yourself surrounded by ugliness, lies, and evil, keep going to reach the promised land of beauty, truth, and goodness. If you find yourself in hell, stay the course and keep going.