Being a warrior runs deep in the modern southern gentleman’s heritage. Southern men were always prepared to defend the defenseless and never abandon a fight before it was finished. Whether it was the Civil War or a black man defending his family against the Klan.
One example is Eli Pinson Landers of Gwinnett county Georgia. He left home in August of 1861 to join the Confederate Army when he was just nineteen. Eli wrote letters to his mother during his time fighting the war to let her know what was going on. He gives a perfect example of what it means to be a Warrior in a letter written less than a month before his death,
..I may never see you nor my home again but if I never do I can’t help it. I expect to be a man of Honor to our country at the risk of my life. I don’t want to be a disgrace to myself nor my relations..
Your affectionate son, E.P. Landers (from gacivilwar.org)
E.P. Landers was 21 years old but he already understood he had been pre-wired as a man to be a warrior.
So what is a warrior? Any man who fights the good fight.
There’s a difference between being a warrior and a bully. Everybody’s seen “that” guy. The one who will fight at the drop of hat. But that’s not a warrior. A warrior knows there are some things worth fighting for while others aren’t worth getting out of bed for. A true warrior knows how to tell the two apart.
Your family and friends are looking for warriors.
We’ve raised a generation of men brainwashed into thinking being a warrior is evil. Now we’re reaping the consequences.
- Biological males beating on women
- Two-bit terrorists causing our leaders to quake in their boots
- Activists screaming words like “racist” and “bully” at anyone who disagrees with them because they know they can get away with it.
All because we’re running out of Warriors.
I don’t believe men don’t want to be warriors. I believe it’s because most men think they don’t have what it takes to be a warrior.
Yes, you do.
Being a warrior is not about physical size or ability to put some guy in an arm bar. Being warrior is a state of mind that any man can develop.
No man is born a warrior or average. Each man makes himself into one or the other by the choices he makes.
You and I are going to learn what those choices are over the coming weeks.
But for now let’s all agree that being a warrior is central to being a man and that it means it’s worth our attention.
What exactly is a man supposed to DO? What are his pre-established life’s purposes?
It’s an important question because there’s lots of confusion out there.
Let’s start with a what man is NOT supposed to spend his life doing:
- Sit around in his underwear watching sports all day.
- Binge-watching Netflix.
- Spending $65k on a 4-wheel drive pickup that will never leave the pavement.
A lot of guys believe any of these are an acceptable way for a man to live. Which makes me ask, “why do they believe the lie?” One reason is TV and internet. Check out the programing and ads on TV and you’ll see thousands of images that reinforce the lie.
But that’s still not the answer.
Why do guys fall for the lie? They don’t have a reliable standard to measure what somebody says a real man is against. Let’s call it a masculinity measuring tape. Because they don’t have this, they can’t tell a lie from the truth.
If commercials, tv shows and movies aren’t telling men the truth, then what ARE the things a man is pre-wired to do?
That’s what the Modern Southern Gentleman Code is all about. Defining the activities, callings, and desires every man is born with.
Let’s call them Missions.
Each branch of the military has a specific mission to carry out. The Navy knows they deal with water and ships, the army is the ground pounders in a war, the Air Force focuses on securing the skies and the Marines will fight anybody, anywhere, anytime. Each branch knows what they were designed to do. There’s no doubt. They didn’t ask for the mission, it’s just what was assigned to them.
Same is true with men. We all have Missions assigned to us. Big picture objectives.
What are the Missions a man is assigned to carry out?
Mission #1 Warrior
A man is to protect those who cannot protect themselves. Men are designed and built to defend truth and justice and to conquer evil. Just look at a man’s body.
- 30% more muscle mass than women
- Broad Shoulders
- Taller than women
But even if you’re not built like a linebacker, you KNOW you are destined to be a warrior. It’s deep down in your soul.
Mission #2 Provider
A man is to supply the people in his life what they need to not just survive, but thrive.
First thing to note is you need to be able to provide for yourself before you try to provide for others. So that means get a job, get a place to live and develop good financial habits before you take on a wife or kids.
Is it hard? Does it suck sometimes? YES. But until you see the look on someone you love’s face when you provide something they needed or just wanted, you’ll never know what it means to be a real man.
Mission #3 Guide
A man is to help the next generation go further faster.
This one gets more intense as you get older. You don’t want to see other men suffer the same consequences you did, so you want to give them the secret short cuts. The tips, tools and tactics to carry out their Missions.
Men need to know what’s expected of them. If they don’t, most men just wander from one thing to another. Always looking for some job, person, substance or activity to fill the void in their life that comes from not knowing what you were put on earth to do.
That’s why you and I need to learn about being a Warrior, Provider and Guide. To get on a course so we stop wasting our most precious asset, time.
Those are you Missions. Those are my Missions. And we’re going to learn how to accomplish them. Together
Next Monday I’ll go in depth on being a Warrior. Pass the word!
Being a Man is Hard.
I doubt there’s a man alive who would disagree with that statement. We all understand the laundry list of expectations different people and groups have for us. Now, there’s nothing wrong with being held to a high standard, but it’s tough when so many of the expectations contradict one another.
- Weekly schedule:Spend 40 hours with wife, 40 hours with kids, 60 hours at work to make as much money as possible, go to the gym 7 days a week, be spiritual leader of household but don’t take the time to be trained how.
- Take chances
- Never fail
Let me make this simple, is a man supposed to be more Phil Donahue or Phil Robertson?
There has never been and never will be a man who could possibly live up to those expectations. But the pressure on men to be all things to all people is immense. When a man starts to bend under that pressure he develops fears and starts to believe lies.
Top 6 Fears of Men
- Someone will leave me
- I am disappointing someone
- Someone will reveal I’m an imposter
- Asking for help
- Losing respect
And the 6 Lies Men Believe:
- I don’t have what it takes
- I can do this and no one will know
- I can’t be honest about that
- I’m the only one who has ever struggled with this
- I can’t recover from that
- I can’t be the spiritual leader of my home
When you think about it, it’s no surprise so many men are wandering around not knowing what to do next. Asking questions like:
- What manhood measuring stick do I follow?
- What men do I emulate?
- How do I live like a man on a daily basis?
But because answering these questions was too hard, or you’ve been too embarrassed to admit you need help, or you’ve tried a bunch of stuff that hasn’t worked. Whatever the reason, the result was the same: You just gave up. You decided being a man is too hard, so you just quit.
And that’s where the trouble started.
When guys quit trying to become a man, a lot of bad stuff happens. Two examples are online porn and video games. Guys get addicted because in those two worlds guys can control everything. There’s nothing to figure out past learning what buttons to push and which websites to visit. Fake love. Fake war. They get to experience the hard-wired needs every man has without any messy relationships or risk of injury.
But you can’t hide in the pretend world of video games and online porn forever. So, every guy has to figure out how to be a man.
So what’s the Answer?
I’ve been on quest for the last 10 years to answer that question. I also wanted to develop a code or plan any guy could follow to become the man he wants to be.
I’ve finally got it right. It’s based on triangles.
Why a triangle? Triangles represent strength. Train trestles, bridges and the roofs of average houses are all based on triangles because of their ability to carry immense loads. That’s what you and I have to develop as men, the ability to carry immense loads of responsibilities
What is it? Let me put it in a Twitter sized chunk:
The Modern Southern Gentleman Code is the Skills a guy must have to execute the Missions assigned to him as a man in all three Zones of his life.
In the coming weeks we’re going to dive down into each topic, but to get started I’ll give you a quick hit on each one.
The ability to do something that comes from training. Don’t worry if you don’t have them, you can learn them.
Wisdom-Knowing the What? So What? and Now What? for a given situation.
Discipline-Doing what’s right, even when it’s hard.
Good Judgement- Knowing which fork in the road to take.
What you were put on this earth to do and gives you the most satisfaction.
Provider- Supply the resources and support those in your life need to be successful
Warrior- Protect those who cannot protect themselves
Guide-Pass on what experience has taught you.
The organizational buckets of man’s life.
Personal- Your health, finances, education, car, house, etc
Relationships-Spouse, parent, friend, co-worker, neighbor
Work- How to get a job, how to keep a job, how to get promoted
If you struggle with one of the fears or believe one of the lies, I’ve got good news for; you and I are going to face them. Together. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to show you how to incorporate each of the triangles into your life, and along the way, you’ll begin to become the man you’ve always wanted to be.
Then after you get your life together, you’ll help other guys do the same thing you did. And before you know it, there will be an army of us out there changing the world.
The Masters is the golf tournament even non-golfers watch. Not for the golf but for the course, Augusta National Golf Club. It’s a bucket list destination for many, including me.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to play in the Tournament? Or Caddie? Have you ever wondered how they get the course to look so perfect?
In this episode I talk with 3 guys who answer those questions:
Kevin Marsh won the US Mid-Amateur tournament in 2005 which gave him a invitation to play in the 2006 Masters.
- He talks about staying in the Crow’s Nest
- Which hole is the hardest
- How well the club treats the amateurs who get invited to play.
Chris Burgreen was on the bag for Kevin at the Mid-Am and that meant he got a trip to Augusta. But how did the other caddies accept him? Did he figure out a way to smuggle a famous white caddie jumpsuit out?
Mark Patterson talks about working to make sure the course always looks perfect.
- How do you grow grass that green?
- How do they keep the course looking perfect even though 10’s of thousands of patrons trample the grounds during the week?
- What’s it like to work during tournament week?
The common theme through all of their stories is how serious the Augusta members are about showing southern hospitality to their guests.
The Masters really is “A Tradition Unlike Any Other”. Did you know Augusta owns the trademark to that phrase? More proof the members of Augusta National didn’t get wealthy by being dumb.
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You’ll have a hard time finding someone who has no opinion about Gary Lamb. In this interview you’ll hear him talk about that reality and how it’s partly because of how he’s lived his life.
Gary also talks about:
-Being the “next big thing” in the church world
-The dark side of internet notoriety
-How he allowed the church to become his god.
Also, after listening to this interview, there will be no doubt he’s committed to Canton Georgia and serving the people who live there.
Robbie Robison is a man who soaks up life. Whether he’s preaching to students or having a conversation over a cup of coffee, Robbie enjoys every moment.
This episode took a turn I didn’t plan. In the middle of learning about Robbie, we ended up talking about the local church, where it is and where it might be going. Robbie speaks in churches all over the country so he has a different perspective than most.
But in the end we cycled back to hear what Robbie has learned about being a man and what he’d tell 18 year old Robbie.
So today my morbid curiosity got the best of me and I went out to Huntsville International Airport to check out Trump’s ride.
I didn’t plan on staying but then I saw this guy and knew I had to stick around to see what he’d do. He disappointed me other than hearing him try to say “Alabama”.
I talked to a guy who had flown his family up in his plane from Birmingham to check out Trump. There were a couple of other groups getting ready to leave in their planes but they waited on the flight line to get a glimpse of the Donald. No big deal. I mean how often to get to see a billionaire in person?
But what caught my attention was what happened with one of the last planes to land before Trump. The reason I was interested is you don’t see many Gulfstream G4’s up close. Especially hauling people who live in Huntsville Alabama. A family of four exited when the pilot opened the door. Then, instead of waiting around to see Trump, the family went straight to their SUV and were gone before the pilot could shut down the engines and chock the wheels.
It struck me the people who had their small prop planes and the great unwashed like me who were standing outside of the fence, were watching a man, Donald Trump, live his dream. But the family on the G4 were too busy living their dream to waste time on the dreams of others. I need to be more like that family.
Love Donald Trump or hate him, I don’t much care, but even the most fire-breathing Trump basher has to admit he’s “doing” while the rest of us watch.
If more of us focused on “doing” instead of just watching, our country would be in much better shape.
Men need rules. They don’t just need rules, men kind of want them. They’ll complain about the rules but deep down men like knowing what to do in a situation. There’s a sense of security in knowing if “x” happens, do “y”. A man doesn’t have to think, he just does what the rules say.
So I’ve come up with 11 rules for living like a Southern Gentleman:
1. Love God and Love others
2. Measure Twice, Cut Once
3. Spend less than your earn
This rule for handling money goes all the way back to Reconstruction. The Civil Way destroyed the southern economy, so cash and credit were in tight supply. Southerners had to figure out how to survive without either.
That all changed during the last 20 years. Now you can get a Visa with a $15,ooo credit limit just by clicking a box. So before you click “accept” on that Visa application remember, nobody ever had to file bankruptcy following this rule.
4. Treat others the way you want to be treated
5. Take Care of Your Stuff
One day I was helping a buddy get his boat ready to go fishing. He didn’t just check to be sure he had gas and the plug was in. He walked around his boat like a pilot walking around an airplane before take-off. It was not a quick task. Just when I thought we were going to leave, he noticed some fishing line had gotten wrapped around the prop shaft. Instead of saying he’d take care of it next time, he took the 10 minutes to remove it. When his girlfriend complained about how long it was taking he said “I ain’t got much but I try to take care of what I do have.”
6. Remember, S&*^ Happens
You better have a sense of humor or this world will chew up and spit you out. Sometimes all you can do is laugh.
7. Pass it On
Don’t hoard what you’ve learned. You worked too hard getting it to keep it to yourself. Pass it on to whoever wants to learn.
8. Trust, But Verify
Southerners enjoy doing business with people they like. But always remember, just because you like somebody doesn’t mean you shouldn’t verify what they said. Don’t worry, this will not offend an honest man.
9. Count the cost
Don’t just dive into building a house, starting a business or getting married. You need to have a plan. Coach Bryant put it this way, “Have plan. Work your plan. Plan for the unexpected.”
10. It is what it is
Embrace reality. You can’t fix it until you face it.
11. Sooner or later you must actually DO something
One big difference between being a Southern Gentleman and a Modern Southern Gentleman is knowing which traditions to hang on to and which ones to let go. Which traditions add value to our world and which ones bring us all down a few notches. So guys, here are 10 Southern traditions you and I need to bring back.
1. Opening the door for her
Why would any lady get pissed when a man holds the door for her? Trust me, I know you’re strong enough to open the door and I know you’re smart enough to distinguish between “Push” and “Pull”. I’m just trying to get back to my roots when I hold the door for you.
Back in the day, lady’s dresses were longer (much longer is some cases but I digress) and heavier than today , which is why a gentleman would open the door for her so she could hold her dress up out of the dirt.
Actually a Modern Southern Gentleman opens the door for everybody.
2. Picking up the check
A modern southern gentleman always pays when he’s on a date with a lady. BTW guys, FREE means FREE. Not “I paid for dinner and a movie so you owe me _______” That’s not a date, that’s prostitution.
3. Holding the umbrella when it rains
Why? She spent more time on her hair/makeup than you did (if not, turn in your man-card and do 50 push ups as penitence).
4. Walking between a lady and the street
Today we have nice, clean streets and sidewalks with good drainage systems, so you can usually walk without having to worry about getting crud splashed on you. But back in the day there was not much in the way of drainage or barriers between sidewalks and streets. Which meant horses and horseless carriages would splash crud on whoever happened to be walking by. So a gentleman would walk on the outside to protect the lady.
5. Helping a lady put on/take off her coat
This tradition got started because women often wore multiple layers which made pretty much any movement very difficult. So a southern gentleman would help his lady put on or take off her coat.
6. Walking her to her car or the front door of her house/apartment.
Two things are unfortunately the same today as 100 years ago. One is the world is a dangerous place. And two is women are seen as easy targets for violence/theft. Because of this, a southern gentleman will walk her to her car or front door.
7. Letting her wear your jacket
Heres the secret,offer your jacket before she asks. If you’re paying attention to her, you’ll notice when she starts rubbing her shoulders, which is the universal sign for “I’m freezing you big jerk and I didn’t wear a coat because it didn’t go with this outfit”. That’s when take off your jacket and put it around her shoulders.
8. Standing so someone else can sit
Whether it’s on MARTA in Atlanta, a Disney World Bus, or a crowded wedding/funeral. Doesn’t matter. Give your seat up for ladies and older people. BTW, if you don’t do this when I’m around, I WILL give you the stink eye.
9. Taking off your hat when you’re indoors
Especially if you’re sitting around a table having a meal. When I went to the Sugar Bowl in 1979 to watch Alabama and Penn State play, Coach Bryant wasn’t wearing his trademark houndstooth hat. Why? In his words “My mamma always told me to take my off indoors”. If it was good enough for him, it’s good enough for you.
BONUS tip to every dude under 30, if you want serious men to take you seriously, take off your hat when you’re inside.
10. Never hitting a woman
It’s kind of sad I even have to list one, but it is what it is. It doesn’t matter what she did, you never, ever hit a woman. Period. Dot. End of discussion.
Don’t give me the “she hit me first” excuse. There are lots of ways to protect yourself without hitting her. If you don’t know how, go to Youtube and search for “self-defense”.
If you’re single, these 10 traditions will make you attractive to the kinds of ladies you should want to be attracted to you.
If you’re married, these 10 traditions will make your wife think you’re her knight in shining armor.
If you’re a guy trying to figure out how to be respected by the men you respect, these 10 traditions will let them know you’re a guy worth watching.
How about it? Want to help me bring back these traditions?