It takes just a little observation to come to realize that standards for behavior are falling. Just a little time paying attention to recent trends shows that many behaviors that our fathers and grandfathers would have considered appalling are becoming increasingly acceptable. This trend in which standards relax has sadly extended to what is considered manly, and what isn't. This is apparent in several trends, such as in fads with ironic value (men in pink shirts, or teenagers with Sesame Street merchandise). It seems like expectations are falling to the point where they're already met. Not only that, as expectations fall, so do the efforts made to meet them. It's like a race to the bottom.However, that's one race that a person doesn't have to participate in. As people generally put less effort into developing character, the easier it can be for someone who puts effort forward to stand out. One result putting effort forward is that those who prefer not to would make you out to be a pariah, whether you actively criticise them or not. The very act of attempting to live up to a standard is perceived as a threat to those who would prefer not to; it's almost as though they know they aren't going as far as they could. Having said that, there are worse things than losing the respect of a dingus.
Recently, I've searched online to see what man cards others have made. One such card listed accomplishments that were pretty pathetic. It's like the card in question was made by someone's girlfriend who was okay with her man just the way he was. Is there more to being manly than killing spiders and eating bacon? Indeed there is. However, how many are willing to go beyond that?When I made the Manly Wiki man card, I chose to include accomplishments that seem reasonable to take, without going over the top. That's why I decided on accomplishments like "Built a shed" and "Completed a 10 mile hike without taking a break", I wanted to encourage other men to go out and do things, and experience how rewarding it can feel to accomplish something.
Having said that, I realize that there are many obstacles to accomplishment. Laziness is nothing new, but these days young men are searching for a sense of fulfillment in:
- Spending hours a day on Netflix,
- Spending more hours a day playing an online game,
- Finding cheap, easy sex,
- Doing drugs.
And these things some do and then wonder why their life isn't better.
Some may just give up, throw their hands up, and allow this generation to go down as the worst in history. But even if a person can't fix their own generation, they can at least make better choices and reap the benefits for their life. Some may find it easy to attempt to live on food stamps, but if a person wants a bigger house, a more dependable car, a spouse, and a rewarding job, they're not likely to find it on the path of insipid mediocrity.
If someone has potential, why wouldn't they want to live up to it? Does a person really expect me to believe that they are living up to their potential by spending hours a day playing Gardens of Time on Facebook? Is this why this generation hasn't cured cancer? Many have this idea that the human race is in some way self-perfecting. The defeat of such a notion is evident with simple observation.
Being manly isn't as easy as being born male. Maleness is something that someone can be born with. There is more to manliness than that.