T Nation

An Inspiring Passage.

Today I will take an excerpt from one of the latest books I’m reading “Wild at Heart” by John Eldridge. I hope he does not mind that I share this with you:

If by some chance Mr. Eldridge is reading this (the world is strange that way), thank you for the inspiration, and I hope others can be inspired by this as well.

“The way a man’s life unfolds nowadays tends to drive his heart into remote regions of the soul. Endless hours at a computer screen; selling shoes at the mall; meetings, memos, phone calls. The business world-where the majority of American men live and die?” (edit by AlphaDragon: the rest of the world is getting this way too, not just in the US) "-requires a man to be efficient and punctual. Corporate policies and procedures are designed with one aim: to harness a man to the plow and make him produce. But the soul refuses to be harnessed; it knows nothing of Day Timers and deadlines and P&L statements. The soul longs for passion, for freedom, for life. As D.H. Lawrence said, ‘I am not a mechanism.’ A man needs to feel the rhythms of the earth; he needs to have in hand something real-the tiller of a boat, a set of reins, the roughness of rope, or simply a shovel. Can a man live all his days to keep his fingernails clean and trim? Is that what a boy dreams of?

Society at large can’t make up its mind about men. Having spent the last thirty years redefining masculinity into something more sensitive, safe, manageable and, well, feminine, it now berates men for not being men. ‘Boys will be boys,’ they sigh. As though if a man were to truly grow up he would forsake wildness and wanderlust and settle down, be at home forever in Aunt Polly’s parlor. ‘Where are all the real men?’ is a regular fare for talk shows and new books.


The result is a gender confusion never experienced at such a wide level in the history of the world. How can a man know he is one when his highest aim is minding his manners?

The problem with men, we are told, is that they don’t know how to keep their promises, be spiritual leaders, talk to their wives, or raise their children. But, if they try real hard they can reach the lofty summit of becoming ‘a nice guy’.

Now let me ask my male readers: In all your boyhood dreams growing up, did you ever dream of becoming a Nice Guy? (Ladies, was the Prince of your dreams dashing?or merely nice?)

There are three desires I find written so deeply into my heart I know now I can no longer disregard them without losing my soul. They are core to who and what I am and yearn to be. I gaze into boyhood, I search the pages of literature, I listen carefully to many, many men, and I am convinced these desires are universal, a clue into masculinity itself. They may be misplaced, forgotten, or misdirected, but in the heart of every man is a desperate desire for:

-a battle to fight
-an adventure to live
-a beauty to rescue"

(Bulletized by the poster in order to make the point clearly.)

"Which would you rather have said of you: ‘Harry? Sure I know him. He’s a real sweet guy.’ Or ‘Yes, I know Harry. He’s a dangerous man…in a really good way.’ Ladies, how about you? Which man would you rather have as your mate? And as for your own femininity, which would you rather have said of you-that you are a ‘tireless worker.’ Or that you are a ‘captivating woman?’

That’s enough plagirism. =P

Btw, he also says that not every woman wants a battle to fight, but every woman yearns to be fought for. Every woman also wants an adventure to share, and not to BE the adventure. Finally, every woman wants to have a beauty to unveil.

I could go on and on about this book (and this is just about 2 pages of excerpts), but I’ll leave it with this.

Edited because of bad transfer from MS Word to here…had to clean up the punctuation for sanity’s sake. :wink:

Good post.

[quote]pwilliams wrote:
Good post. [/quote]

Agreed. I’ll probably pick it up at the liberry soon.

I have been thinking a lot over the last 2 days (primarily because of this book), about my childhood play. It was exciting, somewhat dangerous at times…sometimes mischevious.

It had adventures and excitement…an adventure.

They had an enemy (playing war or cowboys and indians, etc).

And almost always had a beautiful girl to rescue (even at a young age).

Somehow, these things seem natural to boys.

Even without TV or movies, boys will begin to find sticks and play swordfighting, or boxing.

We tell our little boys “NO” to almost everything it seems…“No, don’t climb on that tree.” “No, you can’t go to the park.” “No….”

Now, many of thes things are misdirected (desire for adventure, an enemy to fight, a beauty to rescue) by young men and they wind up joining gangs or whatever.

But these 3 things are common in every man…and boy.

I consider myself one of the fortunate ones, actually…I can defend myself with my bare hands, I can survive in the wilderness, I can track/hunt/field dress prey, I can load/shoot/clean/strip a gun or shoot/string a bow, ride a horse, and so on.

But many men I’ve met don’t know how to do anything but fax documents…watch tv (because their adventuring spirits have become domesticated but still need release).

Even that wonderful invention called the computer is taking a lot of the “daring” out of men. It’s safer to play games or visit pictures online of a remote place…but remember about the boy? Even the boys who grew up on games, once they got forced out of the house, wind up doing some “dangerous or risky” things.

I can’t help but wonder why we (as men), in general, have lost these things that define us as men. These traits (the 3 mentioned earlier in this as well as my initial post) are inherent in our gender.

To neglect these…is to neglect ourselves and become a mere shell of what we could be and could and should accomplish.


Just got this book and have only read the first chapter or so. Gotta say that I’m not the biggest fan of any kind of religion having gone to a private Christian school for all of my Jr. High days but this is probably one of the best books I have ever read.

I think it’s given me new perspectives on everything I do and what alot of people around me do as well. Overall it’s been really good so far and it was only the introduction! It also goes along quite well with the Feminization of Men threads that are floating around right now. Definitely worth the read.