A special thanks to Blue Shepard for allowing me to publish his weekly e-newsletter here on Vigilant Wolf. The Blue Shepard is a friend and past guest of Ever Vigilant podcast (episodes 43 and 86 ). I personally look forward to his weekly thoughts on Christianity, Manhood, and Brotherhood and I believe you will feel the same.
4800 jumps. When asked where he served, he slapped his compression boot with his reed cane and said, "Which year?" He had just had his 60's pickup totaled, his arm cut by glass, and had a 12 lead hooked up to his chest, and still looked like a man.
We interrupt this inexcusable absence to bring you The Platform: Make Straight Paths
I had every intention throughout this most recent series to finish by leaving you with exhortations and instructions to help comfort and heal the wounds of admonition. I shall fulfill that intention now. All I have written to you has been less about getting you to stop doing something, but rather to start.
Start Paying Attention
1. To Other Men
No matter how straight you are, there are things that - not sexually - you find attractive in other men. Numerous sociological studies have shown, as well as our own work and life experiences, that a group of men will generally autonomously identify and establish a hierarchical order of submission when given a task that requires cooperation (conversely, studies have show that women are much more competitive and often vie for the alpha position among their respective group in such projects). We are programmed to default to whatever assessment our subconcious minds tell us about another man. That is why armies of men have functioned effectively across the globe for all of history since there were enough men on earth to compose opposing factions.
When you start to notice other men, you see their attention to detail. You see how your leaders exhibit (or maybe they don't) their own flair and taste. You see just how much someone cares about whether he is inspiring the confidence of others. You see what qualities are attractive to you as another man, and by those means learn after whom you can model your own behavior.
2. To Yourself
If you pay attention to other men you will inevitably begin to pay attention to yourself. You will find yourself saying aloud, "I like those socks man," while saying inside, "This man has more style in a pair of socks than I do in my closet". You will notice that others who appear confident make you feel inferior and at a lower state. Our society has dreadfully radiated us to the point of philosophical cancer with the notion that we should never feel low or small because of someone else's actions. We should. When you see another man dressed appropriately and in decent shape, and you look down at your stumpy sausage toes peeking form underneath your furry basketball of a belly, and you brush off those nasty feelings with a statement like, "At least I'm happy", you are cheating yourself out of God-given motivation. When another man makes you feel pathetic about yourself, thank God for it and say, "I am a slob and I am going to do something about it now," and then go do something about it. Someone else's success, confidence and discipline makes you feel like a greasy sluggard? Move up.
(We have the same thing going on spititually. We see another man with zeal and passion for God, and it makes us feel like the wretched imps we are, we waive off the conviction of the Holy Spirit by telling ourselves things like, "I'm glad I'm saved by faith and not by works!" Thereby we subvert the very means by which God will bring us into contrition, substituting our own wisdom for the commandment and authority of God and His Word. Intimidation is a rallying cry for us. As Charles Dickens wrote in A Christmas Carol, speaking as the Ghost of Christmas Present to Ebenezer Scroodge, "Come up here, and know me better, man!")
Have no idea where to start? I doubt you have an excuse. I am amazed at the people who ask the simplest questions with a smartphone in their hands. At the touch of a button the feminine intelligence of your choice will scour all of man's and history's wisdom and experience to provide you with an answer to your question. You don't even have to type it anymore. There is truly no excuse for ignorance in our culture.
In Christ, The Blue Shepard
Here are a few sources which I have found very helpful and informative:
The Gentleman's Gazette
Sven Schneider knows classic men's style and his content is unparalleled. His taste is a bit intense for some, but I find it more and more appealing and very useful to compliment other styles.
Real Men Real Style
Antonio is a no nonsense kind of content creator. He will post conscious rundowns of what is and isn't, without the sorting and skipping along to get to the real content.
For more of a look book style, broader approach to style, Jordan puts out quality videos with his thought-out opinion.
If you would like to receive The Platform e-newsletter each week, email Blue Shepard at email@example.com