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What Does Healthy Manhood Look Like?

Healthy masculinity is when men flourish first for themselves, then for their families, posterity, and communities. A man embodying healthy masculinity knows who he is. He is physically healthy and strong. He is pursuing and developing his skills and capabilities to make him more competent and able to take action. He has a sense of agency, drive, and desire to make his mark on the world, not just have the world make its mark on him. He is someone who exists in a world where it is realistically possible for him to develop his potential, fulfill his own ambitions, and leave a posterity and a legacy for the future.

There is no one-size-fits-all description of healthy masculinity (and thus a healthy man), but identity, actual health, development of potentialities, genuine accomplishment in the real world, and a legacy are the core…

Some men embody healthy masculinity through extremes—the hero, the world class athlete, the saint, someone on a quest for greatness or pursuing the audacious idea, a man facing the extreme trial or difficulty or even death, etc. But others embody it through the ordinary rhythms of life: establishing a trade, obtaining a household of one’s own, building a family, raising children to exceed his own accomplishments, or leaving an inheritance. Most men embody it as part of a group of other men, such as in a military unit or sporting team, but some do so in solitary pursuits, such as the hermit or lone genius. Most will have a family, but some will focus on an all-consuming pursuit.

Healthy masculinity understands the identity and legacy a man has inherited, and seeks to extend that, in turn, to engage in “praiseworthy competition with one’s ancestors,” as has been attributed to Tacitus. Read more…

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