Great advice for men to help them to shed the emasculated, Lysol disinfected, metrosexual imago the misandrists seek to saddle dudes with. Check it out from Jeremy Anderberg…
1. Memento Mori Will Kick Your Butt Into Gear
AoM has referenced the concept of Memento Mori multiple times, including dedicating an article to it, as well as an article on art inspired by the concept. Memento Mori is a Latin phrase meaning “Remember that you will die.” It’s the idea of reflecting on your mortality. Pretty bleak, isn’t it?
Until, that is, you actually think about it and let it move you into action. Even after reading those articles, it wasn’t until I read Fight Club that the concept really hit home. Seeing it in the form of a story truly solidified both its reality and importance.
With each minute that goes by, your life is one minute closer to ending. It’s a little terrifying to think about, and that’s the whole point. So many of us, especially when we’re young, go through life with no concept whatsoever of the fact that we aren’t going to live forever. This is a standard theme of youthful ignorance, and one that can greatly hold us back.
2. A Clean Life is Overrated
While certainly not conclusive, research is starting to find that our addiction to cleaning — both ourselves and our home — could actually be leading to weaker immune systems, especially in children. In our younger years, it’s crucial for us to be exposed to common pathogens; in layman’s terms that means dirt, dust, grime…germs. It works the same way that vaccines do — a little bit of exposure helps our body fight those things in the future.
The same concept can apply to our adult lives as well. Our narrator notes that he doesn’t want to die without a few scars. To him, a few blemishes are actually desirable. Why would this be?
For one thing, to have scars means that you’ve lived. You haven’t just been in your house eating Cheetos your whole life; you’ve been doing things — taking action, taking risks, and pursuing the hard way in order to live a more satisfying life. Nobody wants to live in a bubble, and being out in the real world means the occasional scrape.
3. Keeping Up With the Joneses is Overrated
In high school and college, I understood the concept of keeping up with the Joneses. But only as a working and home-owning adult do I truly know what it means. I’m perfectly content with my car, my house, my stuff…until I see friends and neighbors with nicer cars, bigger homes, more stuff. It’s a phenomenon I honestly didn’t think I would be subject to. I’m a pretty laid back and content guy as it is, so to see some jealousy creeping in at the unintentional hands of friends and neighbors was a very strange feeling.
You get caught up in having the perfect tidy little life. It even starts with good intentions — you just want a nice sofa. But then you need the matching tables, and matching carpet, and expensive art prints to go with it all. And all of a sudden, as the narrator observes, your stuff ends up owning you versus the other way around.
4. There Is a Fighter in All of Us
One of my favorite parts of the book is near the end, after the narrator realizes him and Tyler are the same person:
“I love everything about Tyler Durden, his courage and his smarts. His nerve. Tyler is funny and charming and forceful and independent, and men look up to him and expect him to change their world. Tyler is capable and free, and I am not. I’m not Tyler Durden.
‘But you are, Tyler,’ Marla says.”
Our seemingly pale, wimpy, shy narrator has been the cool, tough, fearless Tyler the entire time. He has to be reminded by Marla that he is in fact Tyler Durden. I couldn’t think of a better metaphor for the state of masculinity today if I tried.
There is a confident, strong, resilient, and virile man in each and every one of us. I need to remind myself of this sometimes, and so do you. When we sit in an office all day and come home and eat dinner and sit on our arse and watch TV and go to bed and rinse and repeat, it’s all too easy to lose sight of that fact.
Read the full article: Art of Manliness