Fatherhood is a gift. "They keep on being a gift", Steve K., the founder of U.S. Elite says in reference to his two sons. In return, Steve has offered them a beautiful and timeless message on vital masculinity in the modern age. It's truly heartfelt and full of wisdom. We hope you enjoy it and maybe even share it with those you love. Happy Father's Day, from the U.S. Elite team!
Jordan Peterson has his 12 Rules for Life, and others have their lists of ‘how-to’s’ for life. My friend Abe reminds me that outside a few exceptions (like the military), boys today generally don’t have a rite of passage to manhood - something to toughen them up and give them perspective. So the concept of manhood can become skewed.
Anyway in an era with some poor role models (look at some of our public figures! or not), here’s what I wrote to my sons a few years ago. And how I personally strive to live.
On Your Continuing Journey To Manhood...
Men - here are some of my thoughts for you on your continuing journey to manhood. You are both beautiful, intelligent, fun, awesome young men! And I am so proud of you, and burst with love.
Here are some things that I’ve learned, and would have helped me at your age.
Grow into your own style. There are many styles of manhood. Get your own rhythm, and evolve as you go. And enjoy yourself and the journey :).
Be the person you want to be. Sounds simple but can be kind of hard. If you want to be a kind person, be kind. If you want to be a guitar player, be a guitar player. Visualize the person you’d like to be, and take that route. You’ll zig and you’ll zag, but when things get chaotic and confusing you’ll have your North Star to guide you.
Associate with quality people. Quality people will invigorate you and help you evolve in a positive direction. Negative, destructive people can drag you down. Choose your friends, associates, and as you’re able, your colleagues with care.
Treat everyone with respect. Rich, poor, man/woman/child, whatever. (If someone acts in a despicable manner, there is still respect although it may change form.)
Make decisions you’re happy with. Again, sounds simple, but sometimes tough. Do you want that piece of cake? Yes. Do you want to be totally ripped? Yes. Question is, which one makes you happy? May be one, or the other, or a compromise of the two (e.g. I eat one bite of cake, and run an extra two miles). Decisions have a time period associated with them. Keep that in mind.
Live by your values. Be true to yourself, and live by your values. It all lines up much better and you’ll feel better about yourself and your life.
Be prepared and keep an edge. You’re both in awesome shape, so keep that up, it’s true that your body is your temple. Practice situational awareness. Consistently. Keep aware of your situation and surroundings. Learn and practice basic defense, survival and shooting skills.
There is a natural order and a bigger purpose. Big subject. But there is a right and wrong, there is good (and evil, although much smaller in my opinion). You have choices. And you have a universal timeless truth love and understanding into which you can tap / contribute. All life is interconnected. Incredible!
Love is...Amazing. And hurtful. But friggin’ awesome! It’ll change your life. And break your heart. But it’s really what it’s all about.
You’ll get through the dark days. They happen to all of us (some of us more than others). The more you grow into the person you want to be, and learn to understand / embrace yourself, the better things get. But the sun always rises the next morning.
Have some fun! :)
LOVE!!! Your Ol’ Pop