Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Manly Friendship

Hi everyone,

I've been wanting to do a post about friendship for quite some time now. This post isn't just about friendship but manly friendships and their importance. I was sitting down a few nights ago in my apartment discussing the importance of manly friendships with 6 other guys that I go to school with. We all stayed up talking late into the night.

It wasn't what most would assume to be a "typical" conversation between a bunch of college guys, but I think it should start being a more typical conversation among young men today.

Manly friends = guys that you're friends with that encourage moral flourishing.  

Here's why manly friendships are good: 

Accountability: having guy friends that are focused on common goals is very important. Getting comfortable in life doesn't call for relaxing goals or morals. Manly men should always aim to be the best brothers, husbands, fathers, and sons they can be and having other guys around who are also dedicated to those goals is important in maintaining them.

Loyalty: An Art of Manliness article made me realize that I am still best friends with some of the guys I met in elementary school. We have changed growing up but we still hang out whenever we are both home. Manly friendships create a loyalty that is demonstrated through a bond that does not seem to break even with a lack of communication. Manly friends are loyal to one another, always there to help each other in times of need, and are loyal to each others families.

Sharpening: Not only do manly friendships keep us accountable and loyal to our friends but they make us better men. Manly friendships force healthy competition towards doing the right thing and being the best at something. With men focused on good and morally right things, they can only gain in a friendship with another man. Our friends should encourage us to be better brothers, fathers, and husband someday too.

Guy Stuff: every guy needs to hang with the fellas once in a while. Whether that means having a guys poker night, working out with a buddy, or doing an explorative outdoor activity - all men need other men to do manly things with. Guys enjoy testing their strength while competing with a friend. So doing guy stuff can be stress-relieving, health building, and just all around fun.

The best manly friendships are found in the few close friendships rather than a ton of "okay" friendships. 

Thanks for reading!


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Review of Mansfield's Book of Manly Men

Hi everyone,

I hope you enjoyed my action plan from the previous Thanks-GIF-ing post. Unfortunately I didn't capture many pictures of the day as I was more focused on spending quality time with the family!

In other news, go check out the book review I wrote for Reading Teen! It's a blog that writes reviews on young adult literature. I wrote a review for them on Mansfield's Book of Manly Men. It's a book that does a great job defining manly virtues and manly maxims.

Check out my review here: 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

11-Point Plan of Thanks-GIF-ing

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and I am especially in the mood to share fun note. Every thanksgiving people take to the dinner tables and pronounce how thankful they are for food, family, and friends. For some people this is the only time they ever say aloud what they are thankful for. I'll have a more serious post soon on the importance of thankfulness with manliness.

But to get into the Thanksgiving spirit, I've laid out my action plan for Thanksgiving tomorrow! 
(With the help of GIFs)

1. Wake up nice and early at 6am to depart upstate New York with the parents in order to travel to Grandmas house.

2. Arrive at g-ma's house around 12pm assuming all goes as planned.

3. Re-unite with family with a few awkward hugs.

4. Annoy family members by bickering with my older brother until food is ready.

5. Sit down at the table and pray over the food before digging in.

6. Commence food consumption.

7. Allow food overload and attempt telling g-ma that you've had enough.

8. Finish dinner with good family conversation and of course, make sure to have DESSERT. 

9. Move to the couch, Put on a football game, and allow food coma if necessary.

10. Get more food and play with the niece & nephew.

11. Thank g-ma for the meal, thank everyone for coming, and thank God for having the opportunity to be so well nourished with such amazing family. 

This is the action plan for tomorrow's Thanksgiving, brought to you by GIFs. Stay tuned to see how it actually goes down. I'll try to document with as many pictures as possible.

More posts actually pertaining to music and manliness to come! Happy Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Cardinal Virtues

Over the past several weeks I have posted about the four Cardinal Virtues from classical antiquity. I have offered practical ways to go about practicing each virtue and I have written songs inspired by some of these virtues (more songs to come).

Easy access to each of the four Cardinal Virtues I discussed:

Next I'll be taking a closer look on other manly characteristics, values, and virtues that I believe a real man should have. I will finish writing the songs for the above virtues and then post demos of each on as soon as I am done being sick. Unfortunately, I have been quite ill for some time which has prevented my singing. The goal is to "keep on keepin' on." Stay tuned!




This post is dedicated to the manly virtue of JUSTICE.

This is the fourth & final post in the series of Cardinal Virtues that I've been working on these past few weeks. Your typical Google search will define justice as "the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness" (dictionary.reference.com). This definition may make sense but it can be difficult to gauge what justice truly is and how you should go about being just.

Many see justice to be synonymous with vengeance or revenge (which basically mean inflicting harm on someone after they have inflicted harm on you). Justice is definitely not vengeance.

Justice is basically the upholding of standards, laws, and morals- Those who uphold them will benefit and those who do not will suffer the consequences (but is this actually justice?). While this is a very broadly based definition it's important to reflect on justice on a daily basis. Here's a few practical ways a real man can act just and promote justice!

1. Be honest. A just man aims to be honest in all that he does: his work, his relationships, and his religious standing. A just man does not practice good things for an outward reward, but instead for a well-ordered soul.

2. Be a man of your word. A just man follows through with his word. When he says that he'll do something that means he will do it. A just leader will reward those under him for correctly achieving the assigned objective and punish those who do not. He will follow through and constantly maintain credibility (an example of a just leader = God).

3. Be willing to accept the consequences of your actions. While a just man will reprimand those who step out of line of the set standards, he must also be ready and willing to accept the consequences of his own actions. He knows that he is not above the law and that he will make mistakes. A just man is willing to accept the consequences of all of his actions.

These simple and somewhat obvious points may not help in truly defining justice for day to day life but this post is mainly meant to get you thinking about what justice is and how it applies to your life.

For further reading on the topic of justice, check out this article on Art of Manliness that discusses justice. It's a good one.

Something to think about:

Is justice more than just deciding whether or not to uphold standards, laws, or morals? Do personal benefits and personal suffering play a role in deciding what true justice is?

Thanks for reading!


P.S. Here are links to the other Cardinal virtues I wrote about:

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


The manly virtue this week is wisdom. This is number three (of four posts) in the series of the cardinal virtues. For access to the others check out the links at the bottom. 

Here's a great moment of Allen imparting some wisdom to his sons in one of the best TV shows of all time: Boy Meets World.

Here's 5 ways manly men can consider and apply WISDOM:

1. Knowledge isn't wisdom. Many people today think that the more definitions and facts they can memorize from a textbook, the wiser they are. All of us college students experience an "all high and mighty" attitude when we come home from our sophomore year of college and aim to impress our peers and family with all the knowledge that we've gained. At least I had this attitude anyway. This is not wisdom. Knowing things is different from discerning what's right and wrong. To be wise is to be able to pick out what you should and should not do in order for you, and those around you, to flourish. Knowledge is good, but being a pompous "know it all" isn't.

2. Always aim for truth. Some of the wisest people I know do not have the "biggest" or "best" careers on earth, they don't drive the nicest cars, and some don't have college degrees or even high school diplomas. A common theme among these wise people is that they are always aiming for excellence and truth. Truth in what is objectively right and wrong, truth in the real purpose of life, and truth in how they should interact with those around them - friends and enemies alike. A wise person is not out to harm, but to help.

3. Know when to shut up. While sharing wisdom is encouraged, be sure to just shut up sometimes. Some times, someone just wants to be listened to, they don't always need your advice or (ironically) "words of wisdom." There will be times that you actually don't have the life experience to give someone advice on a specific situation, and that's okay. A wise man knows the importance of listening. Abraham Lincoln once said, "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

4. Learn from the mistakes of others. My mother once told me that dumb people never learn from their mistakes, smart people do learn from their mistakes, and wise people learn from other people's mistakes so ask not to make them. I believe this is true, and that men should always be looking to learn from the mistakes of those around them. Of course, this doesn't mean that you'll never make a mistake. You're human, of course you will - But there are some big "life mistakes" that you don't have to make if you just learn from those who've made them around you.

5. Share your wisdom, humbly. This point is especially for grown men. Wisdom matters, but it matters so much more if there are grown men willing to pass it down to the boys who are learning what it means to be a man. Try your best not to be condescending, but understanding. Mentor a young man in the hopes of positively impacting his life and give worthwhile advice but also be willing to learn from those who are younger than you. The first step in understanding how to impart wisdom into others is admitting to yourself that you don't have life all figured out. "Being humble" is easier said than done but if you keep a posture of humility in mind, it may be a tab easier.

Here are posts I did on the other Cardinal Virtues:


coming soon

Song about wisdom coming soon!
Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Featured artist on BTAC

Hi everyone,

I encourage you to check out a blog I was featured in. It's called Better Than a Cupcake. Here is how founder, Sydney Bellows, describes her company blog:

"Better Than A Cupcake is catered to the fashionably chic, altruistic, go-getter kind of gal. BTAC provides weekly posts featuring news on up-and-coming artists, charitable brands, D.I.Y. How-To's and fashion book reviews from the perspective of college writers across the nation!"

Here's some irony for you: I'm a manliness blog writer encouraging you to go and check out a blog "catered to the fashionably chic, altruistic, go-getter kind of gal." Don't let this stop you from checking out a growing blog with a following. 

I did this interview about a week before beginning Music & Manliness. I talked about foundational values in the field of music and it just got published so go check it out!


(Photos taken from BTAC website)

- Jake