I picked up a book the other day called “Manvotionals” by Brett & Kate McKay. Those are the folks who write The Art of Manliness blog. I learned about that blog from my buddy, Josh, and every now and then I will pick up something incredibly profound from it.
Since I’m well on my way to becoming a father, I thought I would pick up this book and really study on the things in it. I’m going to be responisble for raising another man in this world and I want to make sure that I exemplify the values that man should live by. It sounds pretty high and mighty, but it’s really not. It’s really about humbly taking on the task of being the man I should be. It’s about character and actions.
Anyway, there have been several passages in this book that really grabbed my attention. Some of them are quotes, and some are lengthy stories. This morning, a short paragraph got my attention and I’ve decided to paste it here so I can come back someday and remember what was so special about it.
The Hunter and The Woodsman
An Aesop’s Fable
A hunter, not very bold, was searching for the tracks of a Lion. He asked a man felling oaks in the forest if he had seen any marks of his footsteps, or if he knew where his lair was. “I will,” he said, “at once show you the Lion himself.” The Hunter, turning very pal, and chattering with his teeth from fear, replied, “No, thank you. I did not ask that; it is his track only I am in search of, not the Lion himself.”
The hero is brave in deeds as well as words.
^ Doesn’t that just grab you! It’s the simplest illustration of a very important point. I know I’ve been guilty of this at least one time, or at least had that moment of, “Oh crap, I just found what I was looking for and now I’m not sure I want it.” The instinct to preserve self is a powerful one, and that’s where courage comes in. Are you willing to throw caution to the wind in the name of some action that is greater than you? Maybe that’s not always the case. It’s not life and death that we typically deal with, but there are moments when we are called upon to step up and put ourselves second in favor of the greater good. This often requires a huge amount of courage.
I’m learning a lot from digging through this book and trying to take the many passages to heart, study on them, and reflect on how I pursue the character of ‘manliness’ in my life. There are seven virtues promoted here, and they all play a role in a persons character.
I highly recommend picking it up if you’re into these sorts of books. It’s also free on the Kindle Lending Library, so it’s at least worth a look. I’m truly getting a lot out of it.
Until next time!