How to improve as a man – Accepting an unpleasant reality

Society has come a long way in terms of equality. It is true that at many points in the past there was gross inequality in nearly all aspects of life. Are things perfect? No, are they better? Yes. As a man you have a very unpleasant reality staring you in the face. At one time men enjoyed the fruits if in-equality. Maybe you were alive for that, so you think it doesn’t apply and that’s largely true but society has evolved to the point where it is now common place to shame/cancel people for things that happened decades prior.

That’s an unpleasant reality for everyone. What is the unpleasant reality for men that we have to accept? That Women, Pets, and Kids are loved unconditionally, and a man is loved only when he provides something. Of course this isn’t an absolute, it’s not 100% of the time but you look at the current cultural and social norms and this is a truism. Is it right, wrong? I’m not here to debate that or get into an argument over men’s rights or feminism. I am here to help men improve and for today’s lesson on improvement, men have to accept this reality.

There are organizations all over the world that help women, children, pets. When was the last time you saw an organization that was dedicated to helping men exclusively? I’m betting it’s not often at all, and are you a white heterosexual male? LOL good luck…

Don’t fight battles you know going in you can’t win.

How we improve here is by accepting this social dynamic reality. Fighting against it is wasted energy at this point you will be overcome by wave after wave of individuals whom want you silenced. I’m not here to discuss their motivations or why we are where we are but to offer you a way to excel in this reality. Embrace the notion that your value will be based on what you can provide to others. It is not and never will be unconditional like women, pets and children. As a man you will be measured by what you offer, for now anyway.

If you can accept that, then you can begin the process of building the basis by which what you are offering is in demand. That is the secret here, understanding the social dynamic and creating the conditions by which you “fill the bill”. Maybe you want to fight against this and find it hypocritical and detrimental? I would recommend you research MGTOW if that is the case. If you want to prosper as a man in the 2020’s what you offer to others will dramatically increase your value.

Examples of “offerings”

  1. Financial stability
  2. Good moral compass
  3. Physically fit
  4. Great hygiene
  5. Leadership
  6. Willingness to do the work others wont
  7. Honesty

I am not suggesting this is a great situation at all, its problematic for everyone because in the end what happens is resentment. Resentment is the poison that kills relationships. You’re going to resent people because you have to deal with this reality. Meantime something happens to a female and there are 800 different resources for them to draw from to recover. You? You’re on your own. The sooner you accept that, the sooner you will become stronger and have more to offer.

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Ancient Wisdom - Confucius

How to improve as a man – disconnect from other’s expectations

This is one of the hardest concepts to implement. It’s pretty close to “stop caring what other people think” which, unless you are a sociopath you’re not going to be able to achieve. However, other’s expectations is a broad enough category where we can whittle away at this which is the point of this post. Simply put, have good values and morals which you adhere too is paramount to self-improvement. Where you obtained those values is an aside really, the point here is trying to distance yourself from others expectations.

The perception of masculinity and men as a whole has changed dramatically over the last 50 years. It’s a mixed bag of good and bad to be blunt. For most men it’s now challenging to understand where they fit into societies expectations, as hundreds (or thousands) of years of accepted norms are no longer applicable. Disconnecting from the current status quo is paramount to your happiness as a man, and then by extension those who you have in your life.

This doesn’t mean you treat people like crap, be disrespectful, confrontational etc. It means you make the rules you live by and should people like or not like it that is there choice. The key proposition here is you are setting your own expectations and working to reach them. This in turn should attract to you people who are of a like mind. This is a net positive for you and everyone around you. This enables others in your life to clearly gauge you as an individual, and determine for themselves if you are someone they want to invest their time in.

Obtaining a thick skin is a life long journey

This also empowers you to live the life you want. One major caveat there though dear reader, when you do this you will face consequences. Society is in a place today where social dictates come from multiple sources. They are loud, aggressive and in many cases have extreme responses to anyone who does not adhere to their particular moral doctrine. That isn’t meant to scare you, just a warning. “cancel culture” is real, anyone can be targeted for mass harassment for a simple tweet like “I didn’t help them change their tire. 2 empowered females should be able to handle it no problem”

The world is full of anonymous experts in everything, particularly how you should think and feel. Be mindful of this as you venture through your own self-discovery and decide what works for you and how to implement it. Disconnecting from other’s expectations is extremely challenging, it means that some in our life will be unhappy. It may mean that on your journey you experience a lot of turmoil. Take heart, as this journey is your own and becoming a better man, at the end of the day, makes everyone around you better too.

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Enough

It’s now completely US vs THEM

Government provides and enforces rules that are ideally made to benefit the broader public. There comes a time when the implementation of those rules become punitive and penalize the very citizens it’s supposed to help. There is no shortage of examples of this in history and we are now in the middle of the current iteration. It’s very simple, Covid has become political. It’s no longer about keeping people safe, it’s an ideological fight now.

Simply put, there are vaccinations available for anyone who wants them. It’s reasonable to assume the people who wanted them got them, but it’s not enough. Now we are at the point where many feel it’s imperative to force those who don’t want it to get it or face harsh penalty. No work, no travel, fines on and on.

We have to be honest and examine why? Why are we to the point where it’s not enough for us to feel safe but we have to impose on others to do something? Fear is a great motivator, and so is trying to win and or beat down those whom you don’t agree with. It’s a dangerous slippery slope. Why? Because life is cyclical and the next iteration of this, you may be on the other side.

You better work on getting a thick skin, you’re going to need it.

All those people who were shamed, harmed, penalized for not doing what you think they should you think they are going to forget it? Do you think if they have an opportunity to do to you what you did to them they won’t take it? You’re a fool if you think there aren’t millions of people out there pissed off that government is forcing them to take the poke, and people are going after them aggressively. You’re a fool if you think they won’t remember who said what, who did what.

A vaccine is available, everyone who is eligible should get one. I am no anti vaccier, I got my shots. I don’t however try and go after people who chose not to. I respect the notion of “my body my choice” some, sadly only employ that logic when its convenient. So if you got this far in the post, thank you. One last piece of wisdom here, careful when you are active about how other people should behave. There is no hiding any more, anonymity is an illusion. The world is smaller now, you appear in more places than just your safe small town.

Someday you might be the one whom doesn’t want to comply and those whom you gave no quarter to now? They will come after you, just like you came after them.

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Surviving 2020 & covid

You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

The current climate online has become more toxic than ever and I have been here since the beginning. I wanted to give you an example of an experience I witnessed a few days ago in a reddit thread. You see when you become a complete hypocrite you really only have one avenue in which to survive and that is to be extremely nasty to anyone who challenges your hypocrisy. In the end the only person harmed is you as people stop listening and dismiss your point of view completely.

I was not a participant in this back and forth but I witnessed a dog piling on someone. They asked a pro-choice (abortion) person who was pontificating about how people should be jailed for not getting the covid vaccine, how they can support “my body, my choice” in one instance and in another demand incarceration for someone advocating the same principal in another.

The responses were fascinating, it was one of the more vitriolic and sad exchanges I have seen in a long time. Essentially it boiled down to feelings, that the correlation between the two was irrelevant because of said feelings. It didn’t seem to matter how the other person (and persons, others came to the defense) felt. It was, you get the vaccine or you are a “racist, fascist, sexist” there were a few more labels thrown out it was surreal.

I’ve already left Twitter, is Reddit next?

First, anyone who calls you or anyone else a fascist likely has no idea what fascism really is. Second, this is a yes or no answer. It’s very simple, if you believe in liberty and people’s rights to do with their body whatever they want then you can’t have it both ways. As an example, I believe a woman has the right to decide what happens to her body, so abortion is fine if that is her choice. She also has the right to decide if she wants that vaccine or not by that same logic.

I read the thread a few times and then realized many of these key board warriors are typing these things under the illusion of anonymity provided by the internet. It was still both sad and fascinating to read. Maybe you, dear reader, are one of these key board warriors? Maybe you are a blatant hypocrite in this vein? I don’t know you or how you feel but I would say to you that, canceling or “jailing” someone for not agree to do what you think they should is a slippery slope, its actually fascistic… And it is all abstract until YOU are in the next group who may run afoul of the next popular theory.

Try to be kinder to be people, less hostile and if you believe someone is putting you at risk remove yourself from their ability to do so rather than attempt to silence them and shout them down. They will be quiet sure, but they will seethe and loathe you quietly. The last thing you want in life is people waiting for your weakest moment to exact some kind of revenge. It’s not worth it, your energy is better spent working on things you care about.

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Beyond the Trees

Do You Remember?

Remember the days when people would say “I disagree with what you have to say but will defend your right to say it”? Those days are gone, we are now in the throes of “I disagree with what you have to say and will cancel you for even thinking it.” Yes, we now have thought police and many of these individuals, hiding behind screen names and VPN’s are watching you.

It’s likely some are reading this post right now. They are everywhere, they are ordinary people like you and I. Emboldened by the illusion of anonymity and empowered by ebb and flows of likes and affirmation from other anonymous people. Your next door neighbor who says hi to you every day with a smile could be watching your Facebook feed, your tweets and you would never know it.

Remember, when you have an alternative point of view you find yourself with a tremendous gift. You find out clearly who your friends are and who are not. Real friends respect you, and how you feel. Fake friends do not, don’t be fooled they are everywhere. Oh the quick reminder?

Stand up for what you believe in, even if it means you are standing alone. Standing up for the right thing, freedom to think what you want when you want not only empowers you but gives others hope. It’s okay not to like someone for what they believe in, don’t be one of those people who punish others for wrong think.

The “A Gen X Point of View” blog is a safe place to express your thoughts, you are allowed to feel how you want and say what you want here. You can’t abuse other posters, you can’t create a hostile environment, you can’t spread hate here, but I’m not going to try and cancel you for thinking and feeling how you do.

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Wisdom from the past: Winston Churchill

Nearly everyone who is reading this has either heard of or has studied Winston Churchill. To say he was (or Is) one of the most famous statesmen of the “World War” period wouldn’t be a stretch. He was in the middle of the most perilous time in modern history. The World Wars were the most devastating events in human history, oh and wedged in between those was this other event called the “great depression”. Needless to say if you lived through that period of world history you are probably wiser than most of us.

Churchill didn’t suffer fools, he did though accept the fact that even people he disagreed with had the right to be disagreeable. He valued free speech and basked in the fight and nuances of debate and semantics. The wisdom?

“Some peoples Idea of free speech is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back, it’s an outrage.”

Boy is that true in 2021 isn’t it? Been on twitter lately? LOL. The point here is, most people that are telling you what they think often aren’t interested in hearing what you think if it’s not agreeing with their point of view. We are now to the point of intolerance where people are canceled for having “wrong think” or “wrong speak” and inconveniently we don’t have Trump around anymore to blame for it.

No its now (and always was) emboldened people who believe what they think is right and will go to extremes to make sure there is no dissent. Churchill faced this as well in his time, they were called Nazi’s and they burned books (think they would have liked Dr Zeus?) and committed horrific crimes.

Be wary of people who want to silence others, who deem something distasteful and are willing to remove access without consent. These are very dangerous people, in essence they want to control what you see, what you hear, and what you think. They are everywhere and, as Churchill warns, if you disagree it’s an outrage. Except now, the outrage has blossomed into something far more sinister.

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Division is profitable

We are now in the next phase of Big Tech government. If you are under the illusion that one party is different from another (Democrat/Republican) then this post probably isn’t for you, you’ve drunk the Kool-Aid already. Division is profitable, it helps create tidy boxes you can check against people to help market and sell. The sinister part? Millions have taken it hook line and sinker.

Not saying the right things on social media? You’ll be cancelled. Not supporting the right candidate? Your church will shun you. It’s not just one side either, sure the loudest voices (for now) might be on one side, but what’s the end game? When you are shouting down, cancelling, harassing, attacking those who don’t adhere to your doctrine, what is your goal?

In my decades on the internet, and decades in life I have never once changed someone’s mind politically and I have never seen someone else do it either. So that can’t be goal, do you want these people dead? Do you want them to suffer? You aren’t going to change their political views or their personal beliefs so why do it? Do you feel empowered?

The louder you shout, the less I hear

The above is the sinister part eluded to in the first paragraph. You see what you achieve is labeling. When you label it then creates the conditions by which the person labeled has nowhere else to go. You’ve now made an enemy for life essentially, and this person, wounded, will always look to work against your interest. What a great environment to sell product.

All I have to do is create narratives that fit side A or side B and PRESTO! I have a willing consumer base. Where else are you going to go? Side C is small, there are only a few of us, you can’t go back to the other side (A or B) so you roll with the side that isn’t attacking you. Politics and political ideology isn’t out there to help you, it’s out there to govern you.

Do you know what govern means? You do understand it is meant to make you compliant to the will of others, even the vocal minority. If instead of being an attack dog for whatever side has taken you in, you chose instead to stop the assault your quality of life may improve. All this time you have spent throwing yourself against the ideology of those who disagree with you is wasted, you will never get it back.

They are not going to change how they feel, particularly since you’ve put their backs against a wall are holding a knife of cancellation against their throat. You can’t win, and what’s worse is, and I don’t think you fully understand this, you’ve created an enemy for life. Life has a funny way of coming full circle, I’ve seen it so many times in many other venues. It may be that sometime in the future, you’re the one being cancelled.

Division is profitable, who gains by all of this?

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Ben Franklin

Wisdom from the past – Benjamin Franklin

“Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins. Republics…derive their strength and vigor from a popular examination into the action of the magistrates.” Benjamin Franklin

If you are actively trying to silence/cancel other people’s ability to speak freely you are a tyrant or the tool of a tyrant. You are without question one of the most dangerous people on the planet. You are willing to shut down others because you don’t like them, or don’t like what they have to say. I actually pity you, and when the day comes when YOU are the one silenced/canceled you will receive no quarter.

Even if you don’t like what you are hearing or reading the ability to say or write it is paramount. When we silence others, we create the conditions by which dissent festers and breeds revolt and violence. History is littered with examples of this, you shouldn’t have to be reminded.

Don’t become worse than those you dislike, you will not be able to live with yourself and no one will want to live with you.

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Surviving 2020 & covid

Quick rant on Cancel Culture

I don’t normally delve into this kind of topic on this blog but like everyone I am aware of what is happening out there. We are in the midst of a very dangerous trend and that is cancellation. Cancellation is just a catch all phrase for deplatforming, or removing someone’s ability to interact. We’ve seen this play out before, from burning books to communist purges in the 50’s….

We are now removing people’s ability to interact due to what some call “hate speech”. Most of it is deplorable, what many people aren’t talking about is though is the arbitrators of what is or is not acceptable are multi billionaires from Silicon Valley. It’s never been in the interest of society to concentrate too much power into a small group of people or corporations.

This of course is all abstract to most of us, it doesn’t affect us, until it does. You see, the problem with “cancelling” anyone whom you don’t like what they are saying is you set the precedent for your own cancellation down the line. A wise person once said “I don’t like what you are saying but I will defend your right to say it”. We are losing sight of this notion piece by piece and eventually what happens is everyone is silenced.

Should people who are racists be silenced? Should we force those people underground and remove their ability to pontificate publically? If you do how will you know who they are? How will you know where they are? You see you can eliminate someone’s access to public forums but you don’t eliminate their thoughts and feelings. If anything you are emboldened them more.

Racism isn’t exclusive to race, meaning Asians can be racist toward Hispanics just as much as a White person can be Racists toward an African American. Don’t fall into the trap that “racism” is exclusive to one race, that would be, well racist…

So what happens next? Freedom of speech comes with a great deal of responsibility and while we need to have ways to rebuttal and temper people with extreme ideas, every time we cancel someone who doesn’t think or say what we think they should we become complicit in our eventually demise.

Does this mean you can’t protest? No. Does this mean you shouldn’t identify and point out what you think is racist? Of course not, but what it does mean is every person silenced or identified by a group as an “ist” becomes a target. Do we have to really do a history lesson here? You know what happens when one group marginalizes another, two wrongs don’t make a right.

That path leads to one end and that’s historically been a very bad outcome for EVERYONE. You think it’s not going to happen to you, until it does. Careful what you wish for.

Surviving 2020 & covid

Thinking outside of the box is okay, is speaking outside of the box okay too?

The western world has become more divisive. There are labels for everything and everyone now, many of us have been categorized into specific buckets because of one belief. As an example if you are pro-life Christian you will likely be labeled a conservative. Does one issue define you? Does one issue automatically place you into on camp exclusively and this label is to be yours for eternity?

I suppose this is an easy way to segregate people we don’t like. There are several blogs I read and the tone on many of them has shifted dramatically over the last few months. Essentially if you do not agree with the bloggers point of view on “X” issue you are an idiot, to be dismissed and in some cases mocked and ridiculed. At worse cancelled and harassed.

It’s disturbing for someone on the outside looking in, particularly as someone with anxiety. What happens if you don’t fall into “the box”? What if you agree and share views from all sorts of people? What if you are pro-choice but believe people should not be given public assistance unless they can demonstrate severe hardship or incapacity of some kind? The point is the boxes are getting larger and larger and division is rife.

Covid 19 is just the latest greatest example. Do you think things should be reopened? No? What do you think of people who have the opposite opinion you do? We now have huge social networks that offer affirmation on a whole sale scale. Places like Twitter and Fox News are echo chambers for similar points of views one can become emboldened to the point of empowering horrible behaviors. We’ve seen this play out before in history, this isn’t a new concept.

As someone who is an independent thinker (I know we all like to claim that) it’s a very hard thing to navigate. I become very disappointed when I see people I respect and like pontificate so strongly about their beliefs that literally anyone who disagrees is an “idiot”. Wait, last week were best friends though….

I find myself more and more withdrawn and disgusted by the whole affair and this summer once Covid clears up a bit in the U.S. we will have another great reason to attack others who don’t agree, the presidential election. I can only imagine what the narratives will be like when that is over regardless of who wins. I think for me the whole Covid situation has exposed rather clearly to me how weak minded many people are.

I don’t even think it’s their faults really, they are espousing tired talking points and memes they have heard over and over from others who might agree with them on issue “X” as an example. Progress stands still though, nothing really gets accomplished other than an ever expanding pool of resentment. Where do we go from here? How do we think outside of the box and at the same time avoid attack from those who do not want alternative points of view?

I wish I had some wonderful insight or historical context to provide to help. I don’t, I find it more and more prudent to say nothing and let those screaming in their echo chambers hear their own voices. I have one blog I frequent where the person was ranting on and on about “people on the other side of the argument” and all the replies, dozens of them were in lock step agreement.

What was the point? Whose mind did you change? Did anyone with an alternative point of view even bother to read your post? If they did what possible reason could they have to reply? I suppose I will stay in my box for now. It’s an odd place being one of those “independents” the media often references. More and more we are becoming extinct, as more and more we are put in a box for easy reference for those who need to shout loudly about how they feel, and how others should feel just like them.