Where Men Can Become Better Gentlemen


Spectator's or Doers?

What you do when you don’t have to, determines what you will be when you can no longer help it. – Rudyard Kipling.

Passive Pastimes

Unfortunately modern man is forgetting about adventure, he is too tied up with: surfing the web, updating his online media page, catching up with the latest TV show or movie, playing the latest version video game, watching the current season’s sporting activity (for all teams) – the list can seem almost endless.

The knowledge of the world is only to be acquired in the world, and not in a closet. – Lord Chesterfield.

Change Challenge

Before you say there is nothing wrong with these things, we’ll agree with you. There is nothing wrong with these things. However, if this is all you do then perhaps there is an imbalance, which might require some re-balancing? If you find there is no excitement, no passion, no ambitions and no desires left in life then these are good indicators for change, and most importantly a need for a challenge.

And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. – Abraham Lincoln.

Conquering Self

As our society develops we are being confronted with greater levels of free time then previous generations. This is a good thing as it provides us with the freedom to think and do other things. However, the average man instead of using this time productively, seeks out passive activities to amuse himself, rather than feeling bored. Think how many homes now have an entire room dedicated to and dominated by a large screen TV. An only too common, automatic approach is to simply switch on the television, to be entertained. We like the phrase “Switch on and switch off”, as it encapsulates how mindlessly turning on the TV encourages us to physically and mentally turn off.

The first and greatest victory is to conquer yourself; to be conquered by yourself is of all things most shameful and vile. - Plato.

Productive Input

Sometimes it can be a good form of entertainment, but what if you changed this automatic response of turning on the TV and read a book instead? Rather than just read a book, what if you took this reading to help develop a skill instead? Rather than just develop a skill, for your own pleasures, what if you used that skill to help others? We seem to fall into a trap of whatever is easiest and take the path of least resistance, rather than strive for creative output and productive input to society.

I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. – Groucho Marx.

Creative Output

Our passive participation means we do not even have to attend an event, we can sit in our PJ’s, never leaving our abode and watch the world outside – all from the safety of the sofa. We simply let life happen to us, taking whatever is given to us, rather than creating a life for us.

One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I'll never know. – Groucho Marx.

Questioning Sense

The Internet is perhaps one the greatest passive amusements of all. While many sites have areas for you to comment on, quite a few simply have the ability to vote with a simple “like” or “dislike”, so you do not even have to think and articulate those thoughts. Better yet is the ability to vote on other people’s comments, so rather than contributing your own words, at a click of a button you can praise or denigrate another's efforts – is this not the ultimate in passive activity?

Why does this applied science, which saves work and makes life easier, bring us so little happiness? The simple answer runs: Because we have not yet learned to make sensible use of it. – Albert Einstein.

Live Life

We will repeat that we have no issue with taking part in these forms of entertainment; it is when they become your whole life outside of work. The real challenge is to bring positive activity back into your life, adding an element of risk, to take away the safety net so that there is no guarantee of success to your endeavors – surely this is adventure at it’s best. Dare to do and be more than you were yesterday, make possibilities your today and strive for a happier tomorrow – a great life is not handed to people on a plate, it has to be picked up, taken and shaken - to live it to the full. We should not live our lives through others but seek to cultivate our own virtues and live our own lives.

The world is a country, which nobody ever yet knew by description; one must travel through it one's self to be acquainted with it. – Lord Chesterfield.

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