Editor’s Note: Didact ran this over at Didacticmind back in October. You can leave comments at his place or here (following his suggestions below).
In recent weeks I have had a number of conversations of late with readers, friends, and associates, from all walks of life and corners of the Earth, on a number of different subjects. All of them are men, some of them are quite a bit older than me, others younger.
These men are successful in their own fields. One is a highly respected and well-published combat veteran and author. Another is a nationally known mass casualty disaster response management expert. A third is a military veteran with extensive experience in military training, security, and police tactics. Yet another, younger than me by some distance, is a highly successful businessman living in Eastern Europe with whom I have collaborated on various projects. Another longtime reader is of Asian origin who has helped me out with technical tweaks to my podcast and site.
And every single one of these men, regardless of background and life circumstances, has expressed a remarkably similar set of sentiments.
Every one of them feels a sense of foreboding and impending doom, of hard times to come. They each feel a sense of existential dread that drags them down, demotivates them, makes their burdens much harder to bear, and leaves them drained and tired no matter how strong their bodies might be.
Every one of them has been tested, HARD, by recent events.
Some of my readers have had to go through the deaths of beloved family members.
Some have seen once-thriving businesses destroyed and new opportunities shut down because of the Chinese Mumps.
Some have been furloughed, seen their hours cut, and been forced to seek alternative means to support their families as best as they can.
Some are seeing their own children used against them by literally psychopathic exes.
Some are struggling to deal with the aftereffects of poor parenting and weak fathers.
These are far better men than me. They have dealt with far tougher and more difficult circumstances than I have ever faced. And even men as good as these are struggling in the face of existential despair.
Worse than that despair is the sense that we are each of us alone in carrying our burdens, while we are surrounded by hyenas who laugh at our misery and fools who demand our help while offering nothing in exchange.
One of my friends was telling me recently about how unmotivated he feels these days because of the people he has to deal with. Up until now he has been quite successful in creating his own ventures and lifestyle, but he is constantly harassed by people who want him to do everything for them, and don’t want to put in any of the work on their own.
Another friend was telling me about how he feels as though his life has gone to waste. He is unmarried and childless, and has suffered from personal losses and severe health problems over the past year. He feels as though he is merely surviving – just counting time until the Reaper comes for him. And he knows that, when his time comes, he will leave no legacy behind, nothing to carry on his name.
Repeatedly I heard men telling me that they lack purpose and drive in life. They feel as though no matter what they do, it just doesn’t matter – the feeling among them was that doom is upon us and defeat is inevitable.
When I heard these things from my friends, I was reminded of a particular and very powerful passage from the Bible that is, of course, remarkably relevant:
2 The Lord said to Gideon, “The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’ 3 Now therefore proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return home and hurry away from Mount Gilead.’” Then 22,000 of the people returned, and 10,000 remained.
4 And the Lord said to Gideon, “The people are still too many. Take them down to the water, and I will test them for you there, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ shall go with you, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ shall not go.” 5 So he brought the people down to the water. And the Lord said to Gideon, “Every one who laps the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set by himself. Likewise, every one who kneels down to drink.” 6 And the number of those who lapped, putting their hands to their mouths, was 300 men, but all the rest of the people knelt down to drink water. 7 And the Lord said to Gideon, “With the 300 men who lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hand, and let all the others go every man to his home.”— Judges 7:2-7, English Standard Version
Therein lies the solution.
Hard times are coming – there is no way to avoid this. We have had good and easy times for far too long. We have fooled ourselves into thinking that the good times can continue indefinitely, without cost to ourselves. We are desperate for ease and comfort in our lives, not realising that this ease makes us weak.
Men are not meant to live in weakness and dissipation. We are meant to struggle and fight and fail. Suffering is our curse – and, in some strange ways, also our blessing.
Worst of all, we have turned away from God, therefore from Truth. And the price for this will be horrendous – as it must be.
Now, we have two options. We can complain about things – or we can do something about it.
Too many of us, myself included, have spent too long complaining and not enough time doing. If I look back at my blog articles from the past several months, in particular, it is clear to me that far too much of my time was spent merely commenting on current events – and not doing a whole lot to actually fix the problems that I observed.
There are reasons for this, and I could waste your time making excuses for myself, but I won’t. My failure to give my readers actionable life advice is mine, and mine alone. I own it, and it’s up to me to fix it. Others have suffered far worse than I have, and borne much greater pain, with much less complaint.
That has to stop. Enough of the whining, complaining, bellyaching, and grousing, from others and especially from ourselves. My friends and I don’t need more complaining – we need SOLUTIONS.
We need action. We need to make a stand. We need to make the only choice worth making.
Most importantly, we need to build alliances among men who share a burning desire to win. Not the jackals and the hyenas who feast on the leavings of others and prey on the weak and the fearful – but the wolves and the lions who hunt for themselves and defend their own.
There is a reason why we men regard wolves and lions with respect as apex predators. They do not act alone. These magnificent creatures are united in specific tribal and familial groups. They look out for each other and protect each other and defend their territory.
And that is an apt metaphor for the way in which we can solve our current problems.
Over and over again throughout history we see examples of small groups of men acting in concert against overwhelming odds, standing firm, helping each other, fighting hard, and ultimately winning – or dying gloriously.
This must be our model and inspiration. The time for idleness, dissipation, and complaints must end. In its place must come observation, planning, and action.
We do not need much to fix our problems. We only need to remember some very basic yet profound truths.
One of those very basic truths is that, of the thousands and tens of thousands of men who complain and whine and do nothing, we only need a few men with the courage to stand firm. History confirms this fact beyond dispute.
With three hundred men, Gideon saved a hundred times that number of his own people.
Thanks to a bare three hundred Spartans and about seven thousand auxiliaries and allies, Greece held off an invasion of hundreds of thousands sent against them by the greatest empire in the ancient world at the time.
Because of a mere twelve once-frightened, once-cowardly, once-forlorn men, billions throughout history have become the blessed children of the Almighty God.
That is all it takes. That is all we need – the few, the brave, the strong. Nothing more – and nothing less.
So here is my pledge to you:
This site is going to become a place that will consolidate and codify advice that will help you become stronger, more resilient, more dangerous, and more capable than ever before. I intend to turn Didactic Mind into an agoge of sorts, designed to help men become better servants of the Lord, that they may spread His Truth to all corners of the world.
I will give you direct and actionable advice that will improve your body and mind.
I will find ways to help you build your own platforms, so that your voice can never be silenced.
I will show you the wider world as it truly is, and tell you where you can go so that you can gain perspective for yourself.
I will fight the despair and nihilism that threatens to consume us all with whatever strength I have left in me, for as long as I draw breath.
And I will do my best to impart a spirit of hope and optimism to you in the process.
This I swear, by my faith and honour.
You came for the commentary and the Browser Killers and the stunning women. (By the way, the Friday T&A archives have been completely revamped and redesigned – you’re welcome.) None of that is going away. We all need diversions and distractions. It does a man great good to look at beautiful women and listen to good music and watch manly men beating the shit out of each other with hands and fists and lifting heavy things. These are things that remind us what it means to be men.
These are all good reasons to come here. But I want you to stay for far better reasons than these.
It is well past time for Didactic Mind to start living up to the didactic part of the name, and teach men how to fight back, rather than merely talk about it.
I want and need your help to do this.
First – write to me in the comments below (or directly if you prefer to keep your anonymity) about what is troubling you in this current time. Tell me what struggles you face. We will overcome them together. If I don’t know how to fix the problem, then I probably know someone who does.
Second – sign up for my mailing list. There’s one widget up on the top right and another down below this post. Once I reach twelve subscribers, I will start sending out emails.
Why twelve? Because that is all we ever needed to achieve victory against the Evil One. Seems like a pretty propitious number to me, then.
There will be more changes coming to this site over the coming days. Soon there will be a page where you can contribute directly to my success and get your hands on tools that will help you build your own platforms. There will be other sites coming in the future, designed to give you a broader and stronger perspective.
Join the agoge, brothers. Fight back against despair. Help your brother carry his cross – do not give up, and do not give in.