As most of you listening know, you are probably in the United States and we just celebrated yesterday Independence Day, 4th of July 1776. And I wanted to talk with you a little bit about that today because I wonder if we have the same caliber of men that we had during those times. Those were men of conviction and men of fortitude and men of action, certainly and men of sacrifice. And I know there’re those of us who would probably fall into that camp, but I wonder if we’re losing a lot of those same virtues that we had 200+ some odd years ago. And what I wanted to share with you today is a couple of tips, a couple ideas or strategies or thoughts that I had to recapture some of this same sort of virtuous living that I think those men presented and had themselves, our Founding Fathers.
And as I was thinking about what I wanted to share with you today with it being the 4th of July and we’re thinking about barbecues and fireworks and summer and spending time at the lake and all the other things that we do is I really think we ought to just take some time and think about the type of men that they must have been, that our Founding Fathers must have been to put everything, and when I say everything I’m talking about quite literally everything. Their wealth and their status and their power and their families and friends, and in many cases, even their lives for an ideal, for this ideal of the United States of America. And it’s a little disheartening when I see people who mock the flag or desecrate the flag or who kneel during the National Anthem.
And while I spent time in the military and I fought for the right to be able to do that I think it’s extremely disrespectful number one, but I also think it’s a little bit ignorant. I don’t think there’s a real clear understanding of the sacrifice required to maintain our sovereignty and our independence like we have over more than two centuries. And part of that is because we live in a time where it’s easy. We don’t have to sacrifice for these things. They’ve already been paid for. And if we can’t remember the sacrifices that are required and we can’t live in accordance with those sacrifices, it’s not going to be long before we may have to find ourselves in another situation fighting for the same liberties that we’ve been so fortunate to enjoy.
But as I was thinking about what I wanted to share with you today, I came across the last line of the Declaration of Independence. I think this last line sums up perfectly what I wanted to share with you today. When I’m talking about being a man of conviction, and, fortunately, and, hopefully, not any of us will have to sacrifice our lives and some of the other things that these men have sacrificed, but I think we ought to make ourselves more capable of doing so and being those men of conviction. The last line of the Declaration of Independence says, “And for the support of this declaration with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”
Now, not only do we not talk like that anymore, I think those are disappearing virtues, which is what I said earlier, and I get a lot of questions about how do we return to these ideals? How do we step more fully into the men that were capable of being and how do we live the kind of lives that I think in a lot of ways our Founding Fathers lived? Now, I will say, “Did they have their flaws?” Of course, because they were men. They weren’t a deity, they weren’t gods, they were men with flaws just like you and I have. But I think there’s a trend that’s moving away from sovereignty. That’s moving away from having this level of conviction and sacrifice and really knowing what our role is as men.
So what I thought I’d share with you today is very quickly four different things that I thought of as I was painting the walls in my room. Thinking about what I wanted to talk with you about that I think will help us recapture some of this.
1. Know What You Stand For
I mean, how often in your life have you really taken time to sit down with your thoughts or even a notepad or in front of a computer program and write down what it is you stand for?
What you tolerate, what you won’t tolerate? What you find value in, what is valuable? What you will sacrifice for, what you are committed to? What are the higher ideals that you’re living towards? How are you serving above and beyond your own self? I think this is a critical, critical and foundational piece to maintaining our sovereignty, maintaining our liberty and independence and freedom, and then ultimately, of course, stepping into the men that we are capable of being. And also the type of men that our families and our friends and our neighbors and the people that we interact with on a daily basis are relying upon us to be.
And if you don’t have that foundation, that moral conviction of what you will tolerate, what you won’t tolerate, what you enjoy about this country, the freedoms, the sacrifices that came with this. And then, of course, at least an introspection into whether or not you’re that kind of man, that you could make that kind of sacrifice. I think all of us could, but I think it’s got to be something that we are deeply connected with that resonates with us. And I think the more clear we are about that, the more purposeful we are about what we will sacrifice for and what we’re convicted in the better off we’ll all be. And that’s not the only thing we should be doing, of course. Reflection and thought and mindfulness is all a critical component of being these types of men of conviction. But it takes so much more than that and that’s where the next couple of pointers fall into line.
2. Be Vocal And Share It
It’s not enough to know what you stand for. It’s not enough to have your own ideals established. You’ve got to share this stuff. Share it with your kids, share it with your wife, share it with your neighbors and friends and jump on social media as much of a maybe shitstorm that would create, I think it’s really important because it’s that old adage, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. And the squeaky wheel right now is to bitch and moan and complain and play the victim card and think about how victimized we are and downtrodden we are when in all reality that just isn’t the case, and yet we hear from these whiny people who think that they have life bad.
But if you were to rewind 200+ years ago, I think it’s safe to say that probably the most poverty-stricken of us all live a better life than those who were among the wealthiest, even 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 years ago. So we’ve got to share this stuff, and as we hear from these people who are, well, let’s just call it misguided and I think that’s a nice way of putting it, I think we begin to lose track more and more and more of the reality that there’s more of us men in this fight. Not only to reclaim and restore what it means to be a man, but to step up in our communities and our homes and our businesses and every other place that you as a man are showing up as, but it’s not enough to be quiet anymore.
I think it used to be that we didn’t hear from a lot of men because why? Well, they were busy doing their job. They were busy being fathers. They were busy helping their neighbor mow the lawn. They were busy doing their work and so we hear one side of the argument because a lot of these people I think have nothing better to do. But the men among us, I hope I consider myself as part of that group, are in a lot of ways too busy to worry about that, but I don’t think we can be that way. I think we’ve got to get involved. I think we’ve got to share our thoughts on social media and with our friends as we’re at a 4th of July barbecue or just hanging out. I think it’s important that we potentially get involved in politics, at least know what’s going on locally and casting our voice and casting our votes and really sharing what we believe about the Declaration of Independence. What we believe about America, what we believe about freedom and independence and liberty and democracy and everything that we’ve enjoyed.
I would hate to lose a lot of our privileges simply because the men who are moral and the men who know what they stand for are too busy or can’t be bothered with sharing their opinion and it’s hard. I think it’s harder now than it’s ever been because we have social media and people refuse to or can’t look into the nuances or context of the way that we talk and we’re having fewer and fewer conversations with our neighbor it seems like, and doing more online in short, punchy jabs at each other when discourse is critical now, maybe more so than ever because it just isn’t as prevalent as it once was. So I encourage you to share. Share what you know to be true. Share what you believe. Share what you value. Communicate that with other individuals and let them know exactly where you stand.
I think gone are the days where we could sit on the fence and not really get ourselves in the game. Get in the game, gentleman, what do you stand for? What will you tolerate? What will you not tolerate? And start to get vocal about these things, not only about this movement but about your liberty and independence and freedom altogether.
3. Live In Accordance With These Ideas
It’s really easy to pay lip service to the things that we believe. It’s really easy to say that we believe in freedom and independence and sovereignty and we think it’s our responsibility to provide for ourselves and those we have an obligation for that. That’s all easy. The talk is easy. The sharing is actually relatively easy to live in accordance with it. We can hide. We can hide behind these computer screens, we can hide within the walls of our home and we can act differently and out of integrity with the way that we believe and the things that we’re saying. So are you really a man of conviction if all you’re doing is shouting from the rooftops, how wonderful you are, how much you believe in freedom and liberty and independence and all the while your behavior would say anything but that?
So, obviously, guys, we need to bridge what I have dubbed the integrity gap. The integrity gap is the things that we know to be true because we know what we stand for, right? We’ve talked about that. The things that we believe about ourselves. The things that we believe about the way society works and those are in accordance with or in alignment with our behavior. And the greater that integrity gap, the less credible you’re going to be, the less relevant you’re going to be, the less fulfilled and satisfied. I think there’s going to be a lot of contention and animosity and confusion and a lot of frustration in your life when you widen the gap between what you know to be true and what you’re actually doing. That’s called the integrity gap.
So what I would encourage you to do and challenge you to do is to really inventory yourself. Do a self-assessment. Even get other people involved if you need to, and ask yourself, “Where am I living true to what I believe and, more importantly, where am I not? Where am I not?” And you don’t need to share this with anybody. You don’t need to share with me. You don’t need to share with your wife or your kids. I mean you can. I think that might be valuable, but be true to yourself. Be true to yourself. This is a lot of the conversation I have with regards to accountability because a lot of people talk about, “I need an accountability partner. I need somebody to hold me accountable,” and there’s value to that. I have people in my life that I’m accountable to. My wife and kids are a great example. Members of the Iron Council is another great example.
I’m accountable to those individuals, but the higher plane, the higher tier of accountability is accountability to yourself. It’s being a man of your word. It’s doing what you say you’re going to do. It’s living in accordance with who you believe yourself to be. Are you that kind of man? And if you’re not and you’re falling short, okay, well at least we know. At least we’re not ignorant to that fact anymore, and at least we give ourselves a foundational truth to be able to grow, to be able to shore up some of the areas where we might be out of integrity, where we might be lying to other people and lying to ourselves and not bridging that integrity gap. So number three, again, living in accordance with what you believe to be true in what you stand for and what you don’t, and then putting your money where your mouth is, right? Making those sacrifices, honoring those commitments and really being the kind of man that we are, we’re really meant to be.
4. Teach Others
And the last component of this that I wanted to share, and I know this is going to be fairly short for you today, but that’s okay because I don’t think we need to drone on and on about this. I think a lot of us understand why this is so important and why we need to get involved and, hopefully, I’m giving you somewhat of a framework to be able to do it. But the last component is to teach it. Somebody asked me on the Ask Me Anything and I think it was earlier in the week is, “How do we begin to share these ideals or communicate these ideals to other men and other generations?” Very simply, teach it. You’re a man and because you’re a man part of that, and I’ve talked about this on probably just about every podcast for the last four years, is that a man’s job is to protect, to provide and to preside.
Now, when I say preside, I think this is the one that most people, not most people but gets most confused, I should say or not understood. Presiding is about leadership and because you’re a leader, you need to lead. You have a moral obligation and responsibility to take what you know, to take what you stand for, to be able to live in accordance with it and then ultimately go out and teach it to future generations. I talked about it earlier in the week. Our children are being indoctrinated to live in accordance with ideals and the ideology that’s at complete odds with what our Founding Fathers would’ve had us believe. Would’ve had us live. And as we continue to pawn off the responsibility of raising our children to the schools and to the governments and everything else that we do, we’re going to continue to see more and more of this.
So if you’re a father, you need to be involved in the lives of your children. You can’t be just pawning them off on football coaches and teachers and school activities and summer camps and all that stuff’s wonderful. Not saying anything’s wrong with that, but if you’re not doing your part, you are actually part of the problem. You are allowing this to happen. You are allowing your kids to be brainwashed. And I use that word very deliberately, very intentionally. That’s exactly what’s happening. Our children are being brainwashed to live an ideology that is at direct odds with what our Founding Fathers founded this country on. So you have an obligation to share for your children. But not only that, as a man, you have an obligation and responsibility to look outwards outside of the walls of your home and into your community because there are a lot of boys and girls who are being raised without fathers.
Children born out of wedlock, dad’s no longer around for whatever reason, and these boys and these girls are growing up without a masculine presence and without a father figure in their life. If you can be that even to the smallest degree, you are going to give that child so much more of an advantage over those who don’t have it. And every time I say that I hear from guys who are like, “Well, I didn’t have a dad and I didn’t have a father figure and I turned out just great.” I’m not saying it’s not possible, but I’m saying in an ideal world, dad would be in the home and if that’s not going to happen, at least there’d be some male influences in these young kids lives. For me it was my mom, of course, was around, but as far as male presence and masculinity, it was Boy Scouts and it was my high school football and baseball coaches who were there for me when they didn’t have to be.
Now, granted it was a job. It was something they enjoyed, but it was also a calling. It was also a responsibility. It was and also an obligation that they felt like they had, and I know this because I still have conversations with these gentlemen 20, yeah, 20 years later now. They have an obligation. They knew they had an obligation to turn outwards and to start raising children in a way, at least to some degree, that that didn’t have the same opportunities that maybe they had or that their children have. So, guys, I’m challenging you right now. If you’re a man of conviction and you have moral principles and ideas that need to be shared, that need to be restored, then you have an obligation to go out and share that, teach it, help other young girls and young boys understand what this country was founded on.
The ideals that we have lived in accordance with for hundreds of years. The idea of freedom and liberty and independence and you need to teach these things. You need to combat what is being taught in a more productive and positive way than I think a lot of what we see in the school system and in other places that our kids are learning this. So there it is guys, fairly short. Again, as I was going through this, this last line, the final line of the Declaration of Independence says, “And for the support of this declaration with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.” Are you that kind of man? Are you the kind of man that would be able to not only make that declaration but sign your name on a declaration like that and then live in accordance with it and potentially pay the ultimate sacrifice for honoring that declaration, for honoring that statement or that commitment?
I hope that I am. I try to live that way. I don’t think any of us know until we get ourselves in that situation and, hopefully, we never do where that needs to be challenged. But I strive to be that kind of man. I know most of you listening strive to be that kind of man as well. I don’t think you’d be listening to this podcast if you didn’t believe that we have an obligation to teach these things, to live these things, to share these principles with other people, and I thought this would be very fitting as we are ending the celebration on the 4th of July celebration.
So remember, last night or this weekend wasn’t all about the fireworks and the barbecue and the picnics in the lake and whatever else you’re doing. All of that stuff’s wonderful and we should enjoy those things because we have those privileges. Remember, what this day is really about. It’s about honoring men who made commitments to give us these freedoms and I don’t want to say even give. To earn. To earn the freedoms that we enjoy, and are we just simply enjoying it without thinking about what went into the freedoms that we have the luxury of enjoying or are we honoring these men by being like these men in a lot of ways by being men of conviction and having the same sort of moral fortitude and conviction that these guys did? Anyways, that’s all I’ve got for you guys today. I hope that one resonated with you. If it did, please share it. This is another great way to share the message of masculinity and reclaiming and restoring what it means to be a man. And I’ve planted my flag. I know what I stand for when it comes to masculinity.
I know what my role is here. I know what my job is and I’m going to continue to share it and I’m honored that you know that as well and that you’re on this path and you’re on this journey and you’re standing shoulder to shoulder with me, but I think we can do a better job sharing this with other men who may be lost. Other men who don’t quite have it figured out to the degree that you do and what a great opportunity that we have to be able to share this podcast and message of reclaiming and restoring masculinity. I know that you are, but I ask that you doubled down on it.
Share this episode. Share this message. Invite them to the Facebook Group. Invite them to our Maine event, orderofman.com/maineevent, Maine is in the State Maine. Let’s get you out here. As I said, I think 17 roughly spots left just under 20 spots and I want to have you here. Got some great things planned, orderofman.com/maineevent, Maine as in the State Maine. Anyways, guys, that’s all I’ve got. Enjoy this 4th of July, this Independence Day weekend. Remember, what this is all about and ask yourself if you’re that kind of man and if you can answer in the affirmative, congratulations. I know I have room for improvement, but if you also have room for improvement it’s a great time to reflect upon those things. All right, guys, go out there, take action, become the man you are meant to be.