Forming The Habit of Self-Development

As soon as we have a goal, we begin to make promises to ourselves. Once the conditions are right, we will work towards our goal. It will be next month when things die down. Or I’ll start as soon as I’ve saved up for the best equipment. Or it will be at the beginning of the new year. And so on.

These timeframes won’t help you. Things won’t quiet down. Unless you’re already accomplished in a particular field, you don’t need the most expensive equipment. And new years come and go with most people quitting their “resolutions” by the end of January. Continue reading “Forming The Habit of Self-Development”

The Decline And Rise of Authentic Manhood

A friend of mine recently described a first — and last — date with a young woman he met online. Things went fine at first, but then he mentioned that he liked going to the gym and — worse still — that he felt that men should be physically strong. Although this would not offend anyone of any culture prior to the modern era, nor anyone of a non-Western culture today (masculinity is seen as normal and valuable in Middle Eastern and African cultures, for example), my friend found himself being lectured on why this was inherently evil and why he was on the wrong side of history. Continue reading “The Decline And Rise of Authentic Manhood”

The Optimism of the Will

The intellect is a curious thing. We talk about ideas spreading like viruses throughout society, or even across societies. (And note how, every few months, we see a sudden burst of moral outrage — around some antiquated symbol — flaring up in different states and countries only to die out like so many health scares. The moral outrage, the idea, literally spreads.)

But, although marketers and social media campaigners want to spread their particular “idea virus,” typically, we try to avoid catching actual viruses. But the term is a good one. Ideas not only grab hold of societies, they can become malignant in individuals themselves. Good intentions can pave the road to hell, to paraphrase a well-known proverb. Ideas can metastasize. Continue reading “The Optimism of the Will”