More often than not we are restricted by our own beliefs. And when we think where those beliefs are stemming from, we realize it was the culture around us that lead us to where we presently are. Living in a sex-negative and desire inhibiting society, we are trapped. Notions of masculinity that prevail around us border on domination structure and men have nowhere to go and seek wisdom. In earlier days there used to be rites of passage that defined the journey of a boy into manhood. Now, we don’t see such rituals being performed. This makes it difficult for the modern man to know more of who he really is and develop his true sense of self. The following ideas may serve as guidelines for a Modern Indian Man to be his best and reinforce the importance of learning:-
“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”
— MARK TWAIN
LEARNING FROM OLDER MEN
Manliness is a historical concept that basically incorporates men of various age groups. There was a time when fathers used to teach their sons how to tie a tie, how to court a woman and how to hunt fishes. Now that time is gone and fathers are involved with their work and spend less time with their sons. To become a better man and develop virtues and learn about life it makes more sense to spend time with men who have accomplished more than you.
LEARNING BY SERVING
We spend our lives working for ourselves and for our near and dear ones. But making it a point to serve the people around us is something that brings peace and adds value to the society. Caring about your pet is good but if you volunteer for an animal shelter home, it is even greater. Giving back something to the society by standing up for a cause is the smallest thing we can do. One small effort from our side has the potential to change a life and being a better human by doing so is just an after effect.
LEARNING FROM WOMEN
Manliness doesn’t involve women but women help a man figure out who he is. Women who are your friends, girlfriends or acquaintances can guide you how to be stylish and dress well. They know how other women see you so you can spend time with them and know what mistakes you are making with women with whom you would love to be around with. Women share their experiences of life and in a way impart you knowledge of the foolishness of men in their lives.
LEARNING FROM MASTERS
Besides men and women, you can learn things from your mentors and facilitators. It makes no difference if you are in art or in business. It is important to learn and develop skills by being with someone who is more experienced and efficient than you. Knowing less makes you humble and having curiosity to know more really adds to your learning curve. A great pupil becomes a great master so it makes sense to find the right person to show you path and walk on it yourself.
LEARNING FROM LIFE
We all make mistakes and fumble in our lives at some point or the other. There are people who love to live in their past and not move ahead. Failures are very destructive to one’s self esteem if you are habitual of spoon feeding and being the star in your life. Learning by small accomplishments and slowly turning them big is a great way to make progress but if failure strikes, getting up and starting again is the only way out. No matter how many motivational speeches you watch, you have to pull yourself up and walk the path to excellence.
LEARNING BY INDIVIDUAL AUTONOMY
We are told to please our parents, lovers, friends, bosses, country and everyone except ourselves. Taking care of oneself is considered to be selfish and people around us judge us harshly for being invested in self. But when you care about your own needs, you build yourself into a better human being and people around you experience the best of what you have. Going to gym, reading new books, solo travelling, practicing your hobby are some of the ways you can reconnect to yourself and serve yourself. Being self-invested builds your self-esteem and makes you a better man.
There are other facets of life that one learns to understand once the basics are covered. More often than not we are bombarded with messages from media that you are not enough and this one thing is the solution to the problems that you have. There is no magic pill to learning how to be a better human being and in turn, becoming a better man. Simple things take time to be absorbed and only those simple things turn out to be the most useful in the long run. Knowledge will never be enough but what matters is wisdom and that comes with doing things. I am going to do what I want to do, what about you?
This article has been written by Arpit Chhikara. He loves writing, roaming, sleeping and doing whatever there is in between. He is young and curious about things that pertain to human behavior. Other than writing, he plans for big things in life many of which stay in his fantasies. Some of them turn real. Either way, his plans leave him with a story to tell, be it of success or failure.