Friday, October 31, 2014

Temperance: Music & Manliness

Hi all,

Just a heads up, I do not intend for these posts to be condescending to those that have not lived up to the ideals listed. For I myself know that I have not lived up to these ideals in the past, and although I aim to, I may still fail to fully live up to them in the present. This blog is my own attempt to consider and understand the values of a real man. I can only hope to live up to these principles and virtues and I simply ask that you join me in this journey of figuring out what it means to be a real man.   

This week's virtue of manliness is temperance. Here are some of my thoughts on temperance, manliness, and music. Below is also a song I wrote last night (10/30/2014) inspired by the concept of temperance called "Just Wait."

Temperance is well known as one of the four cardinal virtues of classical antiquity and is commonly defined as self-restraint, moderation, or self-control (at least by A common issue among many men today is the lack of temperance, or self-control, that aids in properly balancing the soul between the appetites, spiritedness, and the mind (eros, thumos, and nous).

With today's high speed internet and technology the temperance of a man is challenged more than ever before. Pornography plagues the lives of men everywhere, giving them unrealistic views and expectations of sex in their own marriages. There is a lot of music today that depicts "real men" as being guys who can get away with lies, hook up with as many girls as possible, or who can make the most money to reach the highest surface level status.

Self-control and patience matter. They matter through the things that you do, but they matter just as much through things that you don't do. They're important for things as little as waiting in a grocery line, all the way to being a good husband or father. It's important to control little frustrations and impulses for the betterment of those around you. When getting to a point of real frustration or anger a real man steps back from the situation and doesn't explode. A real man chooses to employ temperance so much that it eventually becomes second nature. Being a real man is about making the choice to stay committed to all that you said you would stay committed to. It's about attaining the awareness to restrain yourself from the actions, feelings, and responses in life that will not make you a better father, brother, son, husband, or better man in general.

6 ways a true man employs temperance:

1. A good attitude - A man of moderation aims to balance his wants, his needs, and everything in between. He is slow to anger and not afraid to smile and even encourage laughter. A real man knows that the best way to begin any task, labor, or trial is with a good attitude.

2. Learn from mistakes - A man of self-restraint learns from other peoples mistakes, and when he does make his own mistakes (which he inevitably will), he does everything in his power to restrain himself from making them again.

3. Balance work & play - With limited time on this earthly world, a real man understands that working with discipline and appropriately tending to his craft is very important, but it's not everything. A real man can step away from the stresses of his work life and enjoy the free time he has with family and friends. He sees free/fun time as necessary and aims to be 100% present with those he is with when he is with them.

4. Be a good husband or boyfriend (relationships) - A real man pursues the woman he is in a relationship with, always. He is not overbearing and he is not possessive. He treats her with care and makes her a priority but does not not put her on a pedestal. He understands she is an individual just as he is, and knows that their relationship is a constant choice to be committed one another - not the center of the entire universe. Commitment eventually becomes second nature as well for a real man.

5. Health in food and drink - A real man knows how to eat but he does not over-indulge in unhealthy food and drink. He aims to maintain a heathy body (as the protector of his soul) and understands that personal health and fitness are necessary to living a long and productive life. He maintains a healthy body, not just for his own selfishness but for his family and loved ones to depend on as well. He is one who provides for and protects his family. A real man does not over-indulge in drinking alcohol either, for he knows the temporary buzz is just that: temporary, for it will not lead to anything worthwhile.

6. Reflection - A real man reflects on his own life and decisions often. He re-focusses himself on his own core values and identifies what he specifically needs temperance in. He does not dwell on the past but restrains himself from making poor decisions twice. He practices patience often and understands that there is an actual purpose in waiting for the greater things in life.

This real man of temperance may just be a list of ideals... We are all broken and we men will always act like boys at times. The important thing is to consider temperance in your own life. Apply it in your own life and aim to be a REAL MAN of healthy moderation. If nothing else, I hope this can get men at least thinking about and discussing what it means to be a real man and what comes along with that.

Next is the first attempt at the song I wrote while thinking about the virtue of temperance. Check it out.

- Jake


  1. I love that you're blogging about this. I can't wait for your upcoming posts.

  2. If anyone personifies these ideals it's the great Jake Canull. Or as I like to call him, Lukewarm J.