As I was clearing out my bookmarks recently, I stumbled across a link to an old Chateau Heartiste post I’d once earmarked for future perusal: “Beta Valentine”. When I saw that it was a movie review, I of course watched the film in question, praised by Roissy as “so bracing, so truthful, and so relevant to the cultural moment.” I, too, highly recommend it.
The story depicts the decline of one Dean Pereira (and the relationship that crumbles as a result). While I watched a certainty crystallized in my cortex that had previously been but a whisper at the edge of my awareness. The essence of being a man.
The single thing that makes a man is control.
A man knows that the present cannot be used to change the past, and acts accordingly. His actions, although rapid when required, are never hasty nor rash. On the very rare occasion he is roused to anger, it is not spontaneous violence but simmering discontent that he displays.
A man does not flee from his problems with consistent drunkenness or drugs. His discipline and confidence manifests in a healthy diet and exercise regime. He listens to the wisdom of others and the voices of his community but always makes his own choices.
A man supports himself by producing value for society. In some cases others rely on his financial support, but never the inverse. His finances are subject only to his scrutiny and administration, and he has contingencies in case of unforeseen complications.
A man maintains only the relationships that he values, and does not value people who do not value him. As he has the elements of control listed above, he cannot be dictated to, shamed or blackmailed. If treated poorly, he can and will walk away.
Control does NOT require or imply a lack of responsibilities. It is instead a state of mind and a state of affairs. Make it yours.
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