I keep hearing about how men are pretty much solely responsible for “building civilization.” This is a common declaration of men’s rights, MGTOW, and conservative dogma. Women, apparently, just “get in the way” of the march of progress.
Besides the self-evident absurdity of minimizing women’s role in the advancement of the human race, let’s get clear on what civilization is in reality:
Civilization is more than buildings, infrastructure, science, and the arts. It is more than just cities. The most important component of civilization is people. Without a population of human beings working in concert, there can be no civilization. Indeed, there would be no reason to have a civilization in the first place.
For the sake of argument, let’s say men did build civilization almost single-handedly. The men who originated and cultivated civilization in the past are dead. What have YOU done, as a man alive in the here and now, to continue to build civilization? What are YOU doing to “build” people? Are you a part of the solution or the problem when it comes to the polarization and division in modern society?
One thing I know for sure: complaining—in person or on YouTube or whatever—about how people suck is not how you build civilization. If you’re doing that sort of thing and you think you’re doing anyone a favor, think again.
Spending your time spouting rhetoric that scapegoats other people for your society’s problems, or your own woes doesn’t make you insightful, wise, or a “realist.” In reality, it makes you “patient zero” for negative emotional contagion, spreading resentment, bitterness, cynicism, and despair.
What we need are “real” men, those who are strong in their desire to improve their lives and the lives of others. We don’t need men strutting around loaded with empty bravado.
We need men who have empathy for their fellow human beings, instead of man-boys who walk around with a chip on their shoulder looking for any excuse to get into a fight.
Ultimately, we need men who are heroic. A fundamental aspect of heroism is being selfless and possessing a drive to rise above the stagnant status quo. And right now, there are a lot of selfish men who think too much about themselves, and who perpetuate stagnant male stereotypes.
This isn’t tough love. This is a challenge; a challenge to be a force for unity and hope in society. I think you’re up to it. But do you believe in yourself?
So, what can you do to be a part of the “solution” and not a part of the “problem”?
Be Your Brother’s (and Sister’s) Keeper
An easy way to be different these days is to actively seek to help your fellow humans, both male and female. Get out into the world, pick a humanitarian cause, and get to work. Climb down from your ivory tower of judgment and engage in some real life.
We need to transcend all our limiting dogmas and rhetoric and get down to the bedrock of our mutual, shared humanity. If you have any belief that some other individual or group is inferior, it’s time for some soul-searching. Because there’s nothing more important than our common humanity when it comes to the future of our species. All the issues we have with each other, at some point, boils down to how we perceive each other.
Be the First to Extend an Open Hand (and Mind)
When it comes to building a cohesive civilization, someone needs to be first. Someone needs to be the first to have an open mind. Someone needs to be the first to show tolerance.
The old adage says “blessed are the peacemakers.” But let’s not sugar coat it: peacemaking can be hard. It takes a leap of faith, and it takes a willingness to put yourself out there in a world that may slap away your open hand, and declare your open mind to be suspicious or naive.
Yes, sometimes it’s lonely to go against the status quo. You may be reviled and ridiculed for going against the “people suck” mentality. But just like a true hero, you must be willing to give others the benefit of the doubt even when they don’t extend that same courtesy to you.
It’s not always easy to be first. But if you take the initiative when it comes to tolerance and inclusion, you are leading by example and not just “talking a big game.” You are more likely to inspire others to follow in your footsteps if you’re moving, rather than just talking.
Calling All Heroic Men
We are in dire need of an evolution in male behavior. We don’t need any more insecure men who rely on conspiracy theories, scapegoating, or other blame-games who sit idle and gripe endlessly, without taking action to improve the world about which they complain.
Just like with voting, you have no right to complain if you take no action and expect the world to get better. You haven’t put anything on the line, or risked failure, or worked toward success if you haven’t taken any action other than sitting back and complaining how other people are “shitty.”
Sitting back on social media and declaring that the world sucks while you mope around playing video games isn’t insightful or defiant. It’s just making you feel better about your own insecurities as you engage in “armchair activism.”
No, what’s needed is more secure, empathetic, and heroic men who are willing to stand up for humanity as a whole.
So, what type of man are you? And what world are you going to help create?
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