– by Wes Colton, Introvert Unbound
No question being born a man has its advantages. But you don’t need me to tell you it also comes with its share of obstacles.
When you’re struggling to pay the bills, getting left-swiped on all the dating apps, and generally confused about your place in the world, it can hurt to be constantly told how easy your life is simply because you were born with an X and a Y chromosome.
Painful as it is to have your problems laughed at and dismissed, whatever you do, don’t let yourself become bitter. Wallowing in negativity does nothing to improve your situation and, in fact, can knock you off your path entirely.
Since the dawn of our species, the role of man has been to shoulder the burden of much of life’s dirty work, from ploughing the fields, to mining coal, to repairing power lines. While a select few men who rise to the top are showered with fame, fortune, sex, and glory, the rest of us barely keeping our heads above water (or drowning) are rarely even acknowledged. Yet, ironically, when a small percentage of degenerates commit heinous crimes, our entire gender is blamed.
Naturally, it can be very tempting to protest the injustices men suffer—93 percent of workplace fatalities, 93 percent of prisoners, 78 percent of suicides—but while doing so can be a noble effort, it will do little to improve your life in the here and now.
It can be empowering to think of adversity as a kind of resistance training to make you stronger: physically, mentally, and spiritually. While some men achieve success through good luck and “privilege,” most of us do so through discipline, hard work, and perseverance.
The key is to find your niche/niches in life and excel at it/them. But don’t confuse this for stepping on necks—”live and let die”—or even ignoring others’ difficulties—”live and let live.” To the contrary, true excellence and achievement come from building yourself up while bringing others with you—thrive and help thrive.
So the next time you face an obstacle, don’t spend all your time complaining about how unfair it is and demand “society” remove it for you. Making sure you’re also figuring out how to get past it, over it, under it, or through it, while encouraging others to do the same.
Whether it’s your career, dating, or personal development, it’s this dogged determination and iron will alone that will help you find your place in the world as a man.
Wes Colton is a man who for many years struggled to find his role in society. Ask him about it at firstname.lastname@example.org.