Take a look around and I think you’ll agree with me that there seems to be more and more men who are shirking their responsibilities as men. It’s easy to understand why. It’s always harder (at least initially) to accept responsibility. If you do, it means you’ll actually have to exert yourself.
You’ll have to go into the office a little earlier. You’ll have to stay a little later. You’ll miss the latest season of Game of Thrones (or whatever series happens to be on right now). It means you’ll have to volunteer to help a neighbor in need. Or serve in your church or community. It means you’ll have to put your own hobby on hold and help your child with his or her homework. It means that the hunting trip will have to wait because your business or family needs your attention.
Of course, when I put it that way, no sane human being would want to accept more responsibility. So, what do we do instead? We complain about rights and entitlements. It’s pathetic.
“It’s my right to free health insurance.”
“It’s my right to a good job.”
“I’m entitled to my wife’s support.”
“My boss owes me a promotion.”
“That company has to serve me the way I want to be served.”
It’s selfish. It’s weak. And, most importantly, it’s a detriment to yourself and society as a whole. What happens when the majority of people begin to demand “rights” without a willingness to accept responsibility for securing those rights? I think we all know the answer to that question. And, just in case you don’t, the answer is, “it collapses.”
FULFILLMENT, SATISFACTION, JOY, ACHIEVEMENT
Now, in addition to the moral obligations we have as men to serve (more on that in a minute), accepting responsibility in your life is the surest path to long-term fulfillment and achievement.
Any time in my life, whether through my military service, my career endeavors, my personal fitness goals, or my family priorities, where I’ve accepted responsibility, life has always gotten better – always.
Here’s the thing about men who shirk responsibility. They’re weak. They’re pathetic. And, they know it. From my perspective (and I’ll have to find the research to back this up), when a man knows he’s capable of more yet doesn’t do anything about it, he begins to experience the full brunt of his own inadequacies – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
On the other hand, when a man knows he’s capable of more and raises his hand to accept that reality, he begins to forge a new destiny and lays the foundation for progress in his life. When a man accepts responsibility, he equips himself with the mindset for growth and achievement. When a man accepts responsibility, he tells himself and the world he is capable of stepping into the very thing that makes him a man – service.
At the core of what it means to be a man is to serve. Think about our motto – protect, provide, preside. All three of those responsibilities have an element of service.
See, most people believe that joy comes in others serving them. I’ve found that to be fun for a very short period of time. I have a difficult time (as I’m sure you do) allowing other people to serve me. Why? Because why would I have people serve me when I’m fully capable of serving myself?
If you’ve ever thought that way, congratulations, you are a man. That’s what it means to be a man – self-reliance and service to others. We protect, we provide, we preside (lead). We cannot step into those roles while, at the same time, complaining about what rights we have and what we’re owed.
Men earn their accomplishments. Boys don’t. Take your sons, for example. Yeah, they may earn some money by doing some chores around the house but at the end of the day, the burden of responsibility for your family falls upon you as the head of the household.
Now, what we see in society is a bunch of boys running around in men’s bodies. They’re doing just enough to get by at their job. They still mooch off mommy and daddy, and potentially still live at home. They expect their wives to go out into the workforce and do the work of men. They collect unemployment and other benefits they didn’t earn knowing full well they’re capable of putting their own food on the table.
Then, they wonder why they don’t feel fulfilled or satisfied, or why people don’t take them seriously. It’s because you don’t even take yourself seriously. Why should anyone else either?
If you want to call yourself a man, lead yourself, serve yourself, then serve others.
SOCIETY IS WEAK
But, here’s the problem. Society says it’s okay you act like a lazy, immature, pathetic, mediocre, slob.
We see this when we don’t allow our children to fail and we reward them for simply showing up. We recite cute, little phrases like, “showing up is half the battle.” No, showing up is the ticket to entry. Nothing more, nothing less.
We see this when we allow government handouts to be divvied up to anyone indefinitely without any requirements or accountability. We give unemployment benefits to fully-qualified men and women. We allow bankruptcies to wipe away and absolve any poor financial choices.
We forgive. We forget. We strip citizens of the benefit from the negative consequences of their choices. Yes, I said “benefit from the negative consequences.” The benefit of experiencing the full brunt of your poor choices is that you learn not to do it again. But if you’re saved every time you do something dumb, you’re going to continue to do dumb things.
There are so many weak people in society, it’s hard to bear at times. Everywantswant to save people from themselves. “Oh, what if they make a mistake. We need to rescue them,” they’ll cry with big tears from their eyes. No, what you need to do is let people rescue themselves through the action of taking responsibility.
We are too quick to discount human ingenuity, resolve, and resilience.
CHOOSE YOUR HARD
Look, I get it. Life is hard. There are days I want to curl up in my bed and do nothing. But that isn’t really an option for me. Why? Because I’ve raised my hand and said I am a man. And, a man acts like a man. Which means, he gets out of bed, he does what needs to be done for himself and his family, he does his work with honor and pride, he serves those in his community and under his care, and he earns everything he has.
This isn’t easy. I get it. It’s hard to exert yourself. Anytime we strive to do something great, there will be forces and friction working against us. That’s what makes it hard.
But, here’s the deal: you get to choose your hard. You can take the easy path now and defer the full furry of your weak choices down the road. Or, you can decide to take the hard path now. And, I’m not talking about doing things just for the sake of them being hard. I’m talking about doing the things you know you should be doing now – today. When you do, life has a way of becoming more enjoyable.
Life is going to be hard. That’s guaranteed. But you get to choose your hard. Do you voluntarily say, “I’ll take the hard path now.” Or, do you put it off and put it off and put it off and live a life less than you’re capable of?
I hope you make the right choice.