Community

Previous Installment – Men of Action

Being a Superior Man means contributing to and being a part of your community. Many conversations can be made concerning what exactly makes up your community. For this article I mean your friends/family and neighborhood. Any man can withdraw and isolate himself and his family, however a superior man is an integral part of the community, shaping it and making it better. I’ll discuss some practical steps you can take to not only improve your life, but of your neighbors as well.

Give of Yourself

Words I constantly find myself repeating to my children are “You can’t control what other people do, the only person you have any control over is yourself.” This is a larger life lesson that I have to remind myself of as well.  So starting off small on a topic as vast as community with something that only you have the ability to change is powerful. It’s a common saying that the most important gift you can give is your time. Whether it be to your wife, kids, friends, other family or anyone, your time is the most precious gift you can give to anyone.

Blood

My cousin re-introduced me to regularly donating blood at the local Red Cross. This is the very literal part of giving of yourself. It take about an hour, a little bit of discomfort, and you are done. You have direct impact immediately to your community. Recently, since I have such awesome blood, I have been asked to donate platelets and plasma instead of whole blood. Donating this way does take more time, but it all depends on what is needed, and I give where there is the strongest need.

Time to neighbors / school / etc

This topic I left a bit broad intentionally. All of us have areas in our small circle of friends or neighborhood where we can help out. This may be helping out the neighbor down the street, or donating your time at the children’s school. Most days, I walk with my four kids the mile and a half to their school. On our way there we pass by a house where an elderly woman lives. My children make it a competition as to who can get her newspaper off of her uneven driveway and up to her door first. Simple thing? Yes. Big impact? For my kids it’s a very small thing to do, but she always thanks us as we pass by.

Donate money / items to worthy causes

Donating to those less fortunate is something I have always tried to instill in my children. Since the children were very young we have dones several yearly toy purges. None bigger than the beginning of December. I Place a large box in every room and encourage the kids to put in their toys they no longer play with, or rarely play with. At first it was a struggle as kids never want to give up anything. They also would pick incomplete sets or broken toys, to which I would correct them. The children have learned that if feels good to donate and know that even though they may not enjoy the toys now as much as they used to, someone else in the community will.

Take Care of Your Own Property / Outside

The two houses immediately across the street from my house look like absolute trash. To say that keeping their properties presentable isn’t a priority would be a gross understatement. They do not water the grass, so when we get rain, the weeds grow tall enough to swallow livestock. The houses are in various states of disrepair, however, they have 1 or 2 year-old cars parked in the driveway. #Priorities.  I get it, keeping up with the outside can be a pain in the ass, but these two houses are the ONLY ones in many blocks. It’s an eyesore and completely disrespectful of the rest of the community. Don’t be that asshole.

Help Your Friends With What They Need

From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs – Popularized by Karl Marx. Wait, What the fuck? Did I just quote the father of communism? Stay with me. This Idea is actually much older than Karl Marx, and has its roots in societies that dealt primarily in the human economy as opposed to a market/money based economy.

This is EXACTLY how you deal with your close family/friends/loved ones. When I go out to eat with my friends, one of us will pick up the bill, knowing the next time the other will get it. We don’t worry about the exact amount, we don’t even worry about the cost at all. I have had occasion to be in a better financial situation than my friends at times, and them better than I at times. Basically it all ends up a wash in the end. If you have someone in your life that is a net drain on you, cut them out in a hurry. These people are parasites, they want what you have, no, they feel like they DESERVE what you have. Any “giving” they do will only be a token to pacify you.

Micro-socialism

I’m not a believer of socialism/communism as government policy. People are idiots, and with government policy, we get stuck with those idiots. With your relationships, you get to choose how much time to spend with them, if any. Coming back to the earlier quote, we should always be willing to give to those (who we deem worthy) what they need, when their need arises. My best friend helped me move several times over the course of a decade, so when it same time for him to need my help, I was there, no questions asked. I told my wife, that I’d be gone as long as I was needed. Was that just because he helped me move previously? Absolutely not, he is someone I can ALWAYS count on, and has proved that over decades of friendship.

Be An Example To The Children In Your Life – Your Kids, Your Friend’s Kids, Nieces/Nephews

This is another broad subject, but the theme here is find kids to mentor, whether you create them with someone, or just borrow someone else’s kids. The same rules apply. I’ll pose a question, what good is it to do any of the above if you don’t encourage the next generation? Your positive community lifestyle and ideas will die with you. Keep active and look out for opportunities to mentor, pass your beliefs on. The best way I have found is to lead through action. Last football season, 2 of my sons were on a team together, and their coach LOVED to give inspiring lectures. I think he likened himself to Al Pacino in “Any Given Sunday”. Only with none of the effect, he would pause from drills and talk to a group on 8 and 9 year olds for 20 minutes. For any of you who have played sports, or learned a new skill, you get better by doing, not talking. Perfect practice makes perfect.

Participate With Your Children’s School

Get to know your children’s teachers, not just during parent teacher conferences. I try to be at the children’s school and say hi, and get updates on my kids regularly. I know we don’t all have that kind of time in person, hell, most of the time I don’t. Take advantage to any technology available through the school/district to stay apprised of what’s going on. Just today I had a conversation with the Principal of the school for about 15 minutes. Be a friendly face, help out at events. Your children will see it.

What’s In It For Me?

This is the eternal question isn’t it? Why should I carve out any of my day for any of this? Simply put, this is what a Superior Man does. We don’t whine about the world, we help shape and mold it into what it should be. This isn’t easy and often isn’t fun, but great rewards are rarely easy. So get out there and make a difference!

Be Superior!

Up Next – Potential

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Matt
Matt is a husband, a father, an avid motorcycle rider, and an all around awesome guy.

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