Hard working man

Dude Skill #5: PROVIDE – Part 1


Why Men Struggle With Work

Many men don’t give themselves full to their work. Guys are struggling to give the maximum effort in their jobs and careers and are subsequently undercutting their responsibility to provide. What’s going on?

Men Have Not Been Taught How To Work

One consequence of our fatherless society is that most men haven’t been adequately mentored by their dads, and they have prolonged their adolescence. For some guys, thirty has become the new twenty. According to sociologist Michael Kimmel, demographers used to cite “five life-stage events to mark the transition to adulthood”:

  1. Leaving home
  2. Completing one’s education
  3. Starting work
  4. Getting married
  5. Becoming a parent

When these markers were first first being used in the 1950s, most guys passed through them around the same time. But the passage between adolescence and adulthood has morphed from a transitional moment to a separate life stage. Several factors are involved, but I’m convinced guys who are not mentored well perceive adulthood only as a hardship and drudgery.

Hard working man

My dad was probably the hardest working man I have ever been around. Because my dad worked all day and then came and worked some more. I had to work if I wanted to spend any time with him. He didn’t quite know what to do with me. He was a worker, not a teacher. I just hung out at the job site and tried to figure out what he wanted me to do. Consequently, I learned the value of hard work without learning how to work hard. It took me many years to learn that I had to work hard and not just rely on fortunate circumstances or natural talent.

Other men had dads who were absent from the home. they had no male role models to demonstrate hard work, much less instruct them in it. The number of men who have no dad around has increased exponentially. A friend of mine grew up in the inner city of St. Louis, which is regularly cited as one of the most dangerous cities in the US. His dad left shortly after he was born. When he was five, his dad was killed in a drub deal. He saw him only twice. I had to hold back tears as my friend described what it was like to grow up in a tough neighborhood. He had no dad to model for him or to teach him anything about providing for his family. Guys in the neighborhood who were always chasing shortcuts to easy money rather than disciplining themselves to become lifelong providers were the ones who fathered him.

To be continued…


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