What does a man need?

zandvoort-100552_1920In a few months, I will be turning eighteen and will legally be considered an adult. Consequently, I have been doing a lot of thinking about my own maturity and whether or not I am worthy of being called a man yet. This thinking has caused me to really dig into what a man is and what he needs in order to thrive.

There are many things which a man needs in order to truly be called a man, not the least of which is an occupation. Throughout history, almost all manly men have occupations. Men like Socrates pursued wisdom and knowledge, men like Leonidas busied themselves with the art or war, and men like Herodotus studied events and what caused them to happen. Idle men do not become great, but men who devote their lives to a calling can be.

Furthermore, men need something to provide direction in their lives. Men need a purpose, and if they have one, they need guidance so as to fulfill it. To gain this insight, men can look to advice from other people, the lives of men past, philosophy, or, most importantly, religion. Here they can discover the path which they ought to trod. They can find purpose and begin learning how to fulfill it.

Additionally, men possess an innate need for respect. Here I do not mean that they need people to tell them how wonderful they are, but rather that men thrive when they are treated in such a way that builds them up. A man thrives when he is surrounded by others who have enough respect for him to tell him when he is wrong, to advise him or help rectify problems when he has gone astray, and to praise him when he is back on path.

Another fundamental need of the man is the need for encouragement. Humans are social creatures. We are designed to benefit from social interaction, and one of the most beneficial forms of interaction is in fact encouragement. Encouragement is what is used to push a man to do more than he thought he could do and to help him recognize his full potential. Without encouragement, it is much harder for men to perform at their best, or to perform at all.

Finally, men need salvation. We are fallen, finite creatures, and we are meant to live, each and every one of us, with the common purpose of glorifying God. We cannot do anything of eternal value without it, nor can we reach our full potential if we are in need of it, and so our entire lives rest upon our salvation.

These needs, when met, can fuel men to do wonderful things. Without them, men can still achieve greatness, but that is not how they are designed to work, and so it is a much, much more difficult journey. Some of these needs require only reflexive action, action upon the self by the self, but others require other people to do things. In light of this, it is critical for men to give these things just as much, if not more so, than they receive them.

What I have written here only covers a few needs. Men have many more, and hopefully I will be able to expound upon  this in future posts. Until then, viriliter agite.

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