I think we have enough empirical evidence to conclude a few things. TL:DR America isn’t doing to well and it needs you to step up and be the rock it needs, not the wet paper bag it cries for. So – here are some bullet-points of wisdom to consider.
1. Society has an emotional fragility crisis. People are collapsing and retreating when they need to stand tall.
2. The crisis is the direct result of promoting philosophies that require no accountability, responsibility, qualification or metrics. Specifically:
3. Promoting the idea that you can have it all, do it all, all at the same time, without trade-offs. FALSE – Though anyone who sells anything that will take up your time, energy, attention and money would love you to believe otherwise.
4. The idea that the world is full of injustice and it is our words that can magically change it. FALSE – Words amount to whining and are not enough to solve real problems. Words alone often amount to idealism, not pragmatic solutions. You need to act.
5. Everyone having The Great Life is what is “fair”. -FALSE- You don’t deserve what you don’t earn or work for. You have to build it, work at it, live it, beyond the words and reposted aspirations and mantras on social media.
6. The idea that all opinions are equally valid – FALSE and STUPID. Ideas need to be judged for their merits and solutions evaluated based on results.
7. All we need to do is think positively. -FALSE- The problem with this notion is it teaches people to collude against others who identify problems. The truth is they are only positive in the short term. This is what hinders people from making decisions that lead to long-term success.
8. “Judging” people and/or ideas is wrong. -FALSE- Judgment isn’t the enemy. BAD judgment is. I’m a big fan of GOOD judgment.
9. The concept of “No Judgment” has morphed and bastardized from an Eastern practice of suspending judgement until you’re pretty sure. The original concept was never intended to discourage judgement or promote the idea NOT TO JUDGE. The concept of “No Judgment” and bullying others to practice it, prevents people from labeling bad ideas and bad behavior. They do in fact exist.
10. YOU DO IN FACT NEED A DON’T FUCKING DO LIST. Steering you and others away from bad behavior can be more positive in terms of results, then simply setting lofty goals.
11. Judgments that hurt feelings are morally wrong. -FALSE- and that even means appropriately calling out stupidity even if it hurts people’s feelings.
12. The Results of upholding these ideas has lead to rampant emotional fragility, laziness, and a lost boy culture, where there are no rules, and despite all the positive only mantras and ideas, every vision that dominates the collective psyche manifests into some form of a zombie apocalypse. America is angry and depressed and refuses to do anything about it except try to play the victim and think the power of “The Secret” will save it.
13. So…For men (and awesome women, transgenders, sentient animals and dolphins), those who haven’t fully given in to the emasculation and codependency culture, it falls to you to hold the line, hold the standard, to have a better and brighter vision, to be resilient, and guide yourself, your families, and y ur communities to a path that involves integrity, grit, being honest and vulnerable about the following:
14. The Great Life isn’t a guaranteed result for everyone- it’s a project. it’s THE project. You have to BUILD it, LIVE it, and WORK at it constantly, so you can ENJOY more of it.
15. Life is fair only so far as you have a fair shot to make decisions while you are alive and in the moment. Your decisions and actions have consequences and if they don’t go your way, you need to find ways to cope, rebuild, recover, survive. I imagine that the antelope in the wild that stop to complain about crocodiles while crossing the river are the ones that get eaten.
16. If you want to get anywhere worth going you need to make smart trade-offs. Trade-Offs are real, you must be smart about how you spend your resources, including your time, energy and attention.
17. Society isn’t going to suddenly stand up and admit that it was wrong or it fucked up or its ideas were stupid. It almost never does. You need to lead them forward anyway.
18. Don’t wait for permission or signal to build a better life for yourself, your family or your community.
More to The Story
I really think at the moment that Americans have been over-encouraged to always overshare their feelings, myself included, to the point where we now have a systemic self-management and fragility crisis. Over the past 20 years, in a very clear way across the culture and media, we seem to have encouraged cranking the sensitivity dials to 11, and thus emotional fragility to 11. This, in turn, increases the volatility in our lives, because too few of us are being rocks and levies for these storms. Few of us are holding the lines for ourselves and others.
If you want a better environment or a more stable one, you need to some extent to be more of a rock, levee, and foundation, and less of a wet, whimpering paper bag when it comes to facing problems. If you don’t have the self-worth to hold the line for yourself, hold it for others, your loved ones who will have to carry you through the tough times, who will fall prey and victim to what you fall over for, and so on. Be mindful of others because there’s a high cost to society when you let your challenges and opportunities fall to others.
How soon people forget ideas that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. Or simply, more broadly, viewing challenges as opportunities to grow and step up. When the opportunities and challenges hit you, and you hide, cry, or cry for help, they and you become other people’s problem. You gotta step up your game for yourself, your family, your loved ones.
The results are in – and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice that – being an all inclusive doormat when it comes to values, perspectives, and standards in culture, it doesn’t work for the betterment of society. We’ve created a lower common denominator by treating all ideas equally regardless of merit. If you were to measure the American Dream by the height of what dominates TV, it’s a zombie apocalypse. And people are lapping it up. And no wonder they’re stressed out, on edge, and breaking down.
The culture today socially bullies and shames the masses to accept a certain world view, that they need to welcome all ideas without any filters, metrics or standards. Think about that. The commercial influence on culture most convinced of the notion that you can have it all and do it all well all at the same time without trade-offs. Buying into this great delusion that is adding to your stress, and preventing you from developing your own answers. And what’s worse, your communities, friends and family members believe this delusion and collude to compete and add pressure to you. Look at your Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat feed. How many people you care about are promoting a “look at me and be jealous vibe”?
Here’s what you don’t get from those pictures and videos. Success and achievement require commitment and trade-offs. They also require a degree of grit, resilience, the mental toughness to fix yourself when you breakdown, talk yourself back up, and get back on track without getting diverted and distracted by the path of the wounded victim, that always takes you away from your goals.
So – Hold the line. Have standards. Make Tradeoffs. Be discerning. In fact be so damn picky that it pisses society off. Be the sheepdog. Protect yourself. Protect your family. Uphold your values in your behavior. Have a vision of your life, your environment, your family, and build it.
Nevermind the haters and naysayers. The most they’ve accomplished is 100 likes on Facebook for some re-posted video they didn’t make. Hold the line. Live like clay, hard as rock but malleable when things flow in another way.
Men – The world now looks to you to be the rock and the change; to define a positive vision, to make trade-offs, and to keep us, yourselves and loved ones on a disciplined path that involves work and sacrifice. Hold that line. Society is not going to openly say “we fucked up,” or “we were wrong,” because their pride is too great. There is a great cowardice in those who cannot admit that the super sensitive, all inclusive, nobody’s wrong ever philosophy isn’t working for most people. You will not get a clearer signal to start to steer us in the right direction than this moment right now. Step it up. We’ve got many hills to go. Join me. Let’s do this.