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Warm Up: ‘Good’ Men vs. ‘Real’ Men

While this works well in movies, it doesn't work as well in real life. These days violence tends to beget violence. The bully doesn't just slink away, he returns with a baseball bat—or worse. You can still stand up for yourself without resorting to violence: that's what Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr. The only time you should fight is if there is no other recourse. You can't run, you can't talk your way out of it. If that's the case, hit first, either in the nose sometimes the blood will discourage further fighting or the crotch because the pain will make it hard for him to chase you.

One punch and then run. I'm all for individual sports—as I mentioned, I did martial arts for many years and also yoga. Don't think it's a sport? Try it! But playing on a team teaches you how to interact with others, adjust to various personalities, work together as a team, be generous, and many other character-building traits.

Advice to a Young Man That Many of You Need

The cool part is that you don't have to join an organized team; you can just go down to the playground or open gym and play pick-up basketball or volleyball. Good friends can see you through a lot of the tough parts of growing up. But bad friends can actually be the cause some of those tough parts. Don't hang out with kids just to piss off your parents or try to be something that you're not.

You waste a lot of your youth that way—and miss out of some meaningful friendships. We all have a tendency to hate what we don't understand, whether it comes in the form of different food, different cultures, or different ideas.

There was a Yale study in which researchers examined the brains of people as they were presented with proof that an opinion they held was wrong. MRIs showed that when those people immediately rejected the new evidence, their brains released an addictive chemical that made them feel good. In that way our own bodies are actually encouraging our ignorance and fear. Fight that impulse. Becoming a man means growing, learning, and understanding—not cowering under a blanket with a handful of comforting notions.

It Could Help a Young Man to Know -

By the way, don't confuse physical bravery with intellectual bravery. It's easier to jump out of a plane—hopefully with a parachute—than it is to change your mind about an opinion. Acts of physical bravado will give you an initial rush, but exploring a new culture or examining a new idea will mature you and make you the kind of person others will be interested in. Whatever troubles and doubts you're facing, billions of guys before you have gone through the same thing. Your dad probably knows exactly how you feel most of the time because he can remember the same pain and anxiety.

Listening to people's advice doesn't always mean taking it. You have to decide which advice is right for you. But it might be a good idea to collect some quotes from those who came before you so you can refer to them when you need to. I'm going to get you started with one of my favorites from philosopher George Santayana: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. So, when someone gives you advice, don't dismiss it just because they're older than you. One clear difference between children and adults is an awareness of your community outside your circle of friends and family.

The world is constantly changing. Whether it changes for the better or the worse depends on the actions of those willing to get involved. Kids who don't know anything about their world try to hide it by saying, "I don't really care. It doesn't affect me. Part of being a man is to be informed so you are prepared to take an active and responsible place in your society.

A Companion to the French Revolution (Blackwell Companions to European History)

Read newspapers, magazines, watch the news. Discuss these subjects with your friends, but always while respecting each other's opinions. When you're a kid being told to firmly shake hands, keep your elbows off the table, or ask guests if they'd like a drink, it all seems like a load of dumb and arbitrary rules. Some of it is. But part of becoming a man is the realization that it doesn't matter whether or not the rules of manners make sense.

What matters is the effect of following these rules: people appreciate the effort and respect shown them. In turn, they will show you respect. It's based on stereotypes, rumors, bad songs, shallow teen movies, and immature celebrities in personal tailspins. The worst thing you can do in looking to find a significant other is to try to change yourself into something you're not just because you think that's what girls are looking for.

It doesn't work. The best way to get an idea of what's attractive to girls is to talk to them. Like a girl? Get to know her, ask her about herself, then show her you've been listening to what she says. Did she mention a book she likes? Send her an article about the book. It's low-key, non-stalkerish, and shows you care what she talks about.

It's hard for all those teenage boys with turbo-charged metabolisms to understand that their bodies will not always be evaporating the masses of greasy calories they consume. They can eat a pizza and a tub of ice cream, then run three miles. They can't imagine that will ever change, even when you show them photos of their lean dads' as teens and they look at the potbellies that have miraculously appeared later.

But eating somewhat healthily and maintaining an exercise regimen will not only help fight off diseases and aging, they'll also help ensure an active lifestyle for many years. In other words, the body is like any machine: It may run great when it's new, but after years of neglect it will slow down, and eventually break down. Then you're the one vegging on the sofa while your pals are playing pick-up ball at the gym. The challenge to prove yourself to others is very tempting, especially since the alternative seems to be showing yourself to be a coward. But that's not really the case.

The person who dares you is counting on your not being strong or smart enough to see this challenge as the empty, laughable joke it is. The person who refuses a dare displays intelligence, courage, and independence. And that's what daring someone is trying to rob them of. One main difference between a boy and a man is that boys talk about what they want to do and men actually do those things. Another difference is that men have less time to accomplish more. In order to do all the things they want, they have to be organized.

They keep a calendar the one in your smart phone is handy , they make a to-do list, and they don't put off doing things until later. Being organized can change your life: you do more things you want to do, you finish things you need to finish, and you have more time to pursue new activities and relationships. In general, you will be much more successful. There are so many worthwhile people to look up to and try to emulate. People from history. Even characters in books and movies.

The trick is in picking the right people for the right reasons. It's not that they aren't nice people, but the fact that they're successful and make a lot of money doesn't make them wise. Often, it's just the opposite. They pursued fame and glory so single-mindedly that they have no other interests and minimal education. Many are woefully misinformed about current events, yet at the same time frequently offering their weak, misinformed opinions.

Discipline Makes Young Men Healthier

Don't make the mistake of believing that just because a person can act or sing, he or she also has valuable insights into politics or culture. Find heroes—real or fictional—that embody the values that you want to have, not the bank account. A man can take care of his own daily needs. In fact, he wants to. Make your bed, do your laundry, learn to cook, hang up your clothes. Slovenliness is the sign of an immature mind. The sooner you start doing things for yourself, the sooner you will have the respect of others—and of yourself.

Respect your elders but don't think them infallible. Teachers, parents, relatives, politicians, and well-meaning guys like me really do want what's best for you. But we aren't always right. What are they, and how have they affected you or others? Below, we list several categories — families, school, politics, sports, fraternities, media, relationships and the workplace — and suggest a few articles and Op-Eds students might read to think about the messages about masculinity that pervade each. You might assign different articles or subtopics to different students or small groups.

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As they read, students should annotate individually by finding words, phrases or lines that seem germane to a discussion about messages of masculinity in different aspects of life and noting their reactions. Next, invite students to do a jigsaw activity in which they meet in small groups to share their pieces and discuss what they discovered. As they go, they might consider questions like these:.