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Thoughts on Manvotionals, Chapter 1

I haven’t written a whole lot about reading yet because, frankly, I don’t know how to. I don’t know what form this post will take, nor do I know whether or not it will change as time goes on. Either way, we’re just going to roll with it and see what happens.

What Chapter One of Manvotionals is About

It’s about… manliness. It seems a little redundant to say that a book about manliness has a chapter on manliness, to be honest. Or that “manliness” is one of the manly virtues. Right? Is this just the English major in me talking?

Anyway, that’s not to say this is a bad chapter at all. Manliness should be covered in the general sense, and this chapter does so pretty well.

The point made here (and throughout the book) is that manliness is basically a forgotten virtue. There was a time in this world that a man could be a MAN – and he wasn’t derided for that. In fact, Western literature celebrated the man’s man.

However, over the course of time, especially in the 20th century, the concept of “man” became a negative one. Man was emasculated and became more and more feminine.

Need an example? Okay – one of the top male stars in the music world about fifty years ago was a guy named Elvis Presley. Elvis had machismo coming out of his ears. At his peak, Elvis was crazy cool. He had slicked-back hair and wore suits. He sang like a man. He danced like a man.

Guys wanted to hang out with him. Girls wanted to… well, you know. He looked like somebody you could have a beer with.

Today’s big male star in music? Justin Bieber. He sings like a girl, pumps out manufactured garbage that all sounds the same, and he turns off a large portion of the general audience – particularly men.

Women loved Elvis. Girls love Bieber. There’s a difference.

That’s just one small example from pop culture, but you get the idea. Fathers used to discipline their kids. Today, fathers cater to their kids’ wants.

There’s an important note to make here: manliness in the old days had its share of bad. Men degraded women, and they bottled up a lot of things. But there was a sense of manly honor that hasn’t been carried through to this generation of boys.

As Manvotionals points out, manliness and masculinity is good for the health and longevity of society. Men and women were created to be different creatures, each of which has its advantages. So instead of trying to ignore those differences and pull us all together, we should celebrate what makes each gender unique while still treating them as equals.

Favorite Excerpt: A Manly Character – from Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, c. 170-180AD

I loved this piece by Aurelius because it shows that a real man learns from other men and incorporates those lessons into his everyday life.

From my grandfather Verus I learned good morals and the government of my temper.

From the reputation and remembrance of my father, modesty and a manly character.

From my mother, piety and beneficence, and abstinence, not only from evil deeds, but even from evil thoughts; and further, simplicity in my way of living, far removed from the habits of the rich.

It’s a longer piece, so I won’t reprint it all here. But you can read it here, or you can pick up Manvotionals from Amazon.*

*Affiliate link

elvis, manvotionals, music