One of the manly arts that is no longer taught in our institutions or our families is that of ‘conflict management’.
It’s one of the essential qualities in a leader which is why I am not a manager. I am normally aware of this flaw in my character and usually can stifle it or compensate for it – but not always. The manosphere often confuses the fighter with the manager and nothing could be further from the truth. Street fighters get old and become cranky old stubfarts – or they get killed, I suppose.
Uncle Bob and I disagree on the concept of the so-called ‘alpha-male’ but that is a matter of definitions. He sees the definition as being that commonly put forward in the manosphere where the Alpha Man is aggressive, smart, and tough and displays what Bob calls ‘The Dark Triad’ personality traits. He holds this stereotype in contempt, as do I.
I define the Alpha Man differently. These guys are aggressive, smart and tough – but they are also compassionate and truthful as well. They will often take charge and control of a social setting and nobody will object because they are fun and interesting to be around. When there is a problem, he is usually there first with an answer. He’s not only in control of his surroundings, he is in very firm control of himself and focused on his mission. Think of your average Navy SEAL, or the Rangers, Marines, etc – those guys are definitely fighters but they are THINKERS first – or at the very least, their leaders are and they try to instill that in their junior officers. They don’t go around looking for fights. They’re probably a lot like Uncle Bob, in fact. Yannow – I can (and have) said pretty much anything over at the Treehouse as do the other chimpanzees that drop in there to visit. Like the squaddies, Bob doesn’t get excited or revved up at offensive viewpoints. He doesn’t really go out looking for a fight but he is prepared for one if necessary. When the chit starts to fly, Bob just shrugs, hunkers down and laughs as the simian combatants shriek and splatter each other with rotten food and dung. Then he’ll calmly refute or agree with whatever chimp is in his graces and eventually The Law Of The Jungle will re-assert itself until he comes up with some other controversial viewpoint. He’s one of my regular stops on the internet and should be one of yours too! Leaders don’t lose their chit.
Recently I got into another food fight with another blogger. I’ve had issues with my modern progressive family that I won’t re-hash. Suffice it to say there was some fallout that left my family broken, with enough painful scarring to go around for everyone. My wife sought solace with the church and it works for her – they stress family and community values that my modern liberal family never had. I support her decision and may take it as my own one day. Long story short, one of my former readers hates Christians with the heat on 1000 suns, and he made it known in no uncertain terms, what he thought of me, my wife, and Christians in general. And he gave it to me with the whole nine yards! And that is where I made my mistake.
I battened down the hatches, I spun the guns around and I let HIM have it! “Why you sanctimonious, hare-lipped cripple bastard! Beak off about my wife??? How about we talk about YOUR failings and YOUR flaws?!?!” And from there on out, everything went to hell and it was game ON! If I ever met the man in question, he probably would have spit in my eye, and I would have given his fat, wheelchaired ass a short fast run down a long flight of stairs! HAR HAR HAR! ((Then the question for the blogosphere would have been “Is this a justifiable HOMO-cide or not?”)…and I dunno if it is worse to go with judges like WL and Quartermain or with a jury of my peers, HAR HAR HAR!)).
I’m not going to rehash a blog war; that’s not my point here. The point I would like to make is that this is the classic test for a real leader. When that blogger opened up on me and my family I responded emotionally – which may or may not have been justified, we will probably never know. Had I been a REAL leader and Alpha Man… my response would have been much different. Instead of opening fire and letting the hogs of war slip – I should have held my mud and thunk about it about it instead! Why is this guy attacking me? It would have taken two seconds! Had I taken the time to think and ask questions, a lot of childishness would have been prevented.
New commenter “Caddie” comes to the rescue: it’s obvious to you but went right past me because I had skin and ego in the game and once that happens, you end up with two idiots fighting with their danders up and neither of them is gonna get what he wants. Caddie thinks (and I agree) that the fellow in question is not very happy with himself. Done! End of story, file it in the “No Shit Shylock” folder! It's as plain as the nose on your face.
This is why I am not a high rolling executive. This is why Uncle Bob lives in a 5 Star Treehouse and drives a Lotus. This is why Donald Trump flies in a jet that makes Airforce One look like a fly by night crate fit for flea bag shoe-shiners. These guys can THINK, usually a couple steps ahead, with their noggins rather than their guns. In the mean time I sit here with an idiot, covered in chimpanzee chit… and darned if I can’t start to see the humour of it too! Sticks and stones lose their momentum and impact if you know and understand the monkey throwing them. Dodging them becomes a piece of cake too. Stop laughing Bob, or I’ll clean myself off on your drapes!!!
What follows is optional reading. Everyone has a story, good or bad – and I am going to take a shot at that of my Christian-hating blogger. I don’t know a thing about this guy, or whether what I say is true or not – so some very large grains of salt may be required. It’s all guess work, but I will bet I come close on at least some details. Some of you younger guys might find it amusing.
Back in the 70’s America (and Canada) were a different place. The nation was at the height of its industrial/economic might. Jobs – good jobs – were everywhere. In those days, childish hippies went to university to smoke dope and take mickey mouse courses. When they graduated, they often took a year off to bum around Europe and ‘go find themselves’. Even stupid kids could find work. They became janitors, factory line workers, manual labourers and clerks and they made good money too – or at least enough to afford a modest home with all the trimmings. Corporations had not yet been bled dry by unions. And – in those days, if you were too dumb to do any oth that, it was as John Kerry once said – you went into the military. The cool kids like Alan Alda of M*A*S*H defined America’s ideas of the military at the time.
Every organization has it’s shirkers, slackers and malcontents and some of them were so skilled at playing the system and gaming their superiors, that it was actually CHEAPER and easier to pension them off. They caused so many head aches and problems for their fellow employees and superiors that getting rid of them at any cost looked like a viable option! You just can’t fire dummies that work for gubbermint or unions – to fire them your case has to be iron clad and bullet proof or you open yourself and your department up to law suits. The slackers and turdies knew this and how to take advantage of it too: disability scams became a means of early retirement for many of them. Today’s young men will grind their teeth in incredulous rage – they have their hands FULL trying to get good jobs while these hucksters can’t be bothered with the ones they have – but the scams actually worked well for everyone in a roundabout way. Our boy, in my hypothetical story, files a bogus disability claim. His superiors tip off the doctors and, eager to be rid of him, rubber stamp the papers, bid him a fake and fond adieu – and then - other than the next generation of tax payers – everyone wins. Our boy goes into retirement, his previous employers hire a responsible adult and everyone moves on.
The problem with retirement is that although you may be set for it financially – you have to be set for it psychologically as well as financially. What are you g\oing to do with all that free time you have now? It’s a serious problem – even for those that have gone into ethical retirements. Too often, men don’t give near enough thought to that and get lost in the financials. If you don’t have something to fill the time, you start living in your own head – and I think that might be what our boy here did. Maybe he’s pissed his life away, he’s coming up on that long dirt nap with no time left for a do-over or a mulligan, and he has nothing to show for his time. Maybe it’s left him bitter? Who knows?
Put yourself in that man’s place, and contrast that with your average well adjusted Christian in a similar position: he’s raised his family right, his kids are well adjusted adults ready to assume their responsibilities, raise kids of their own, and assume the old man’s duties when he’s gone. He’s at peace with his Maker and his soul, and can go over The Great Divide with the comfort of knowing he’s done all a man can ask of His son. As for our boy? He is going for a long dirt nap, with nothing more than a sigh from his relieved relatives who will be happy to be done with him.
Hey – it’s just a story that I pulled out of my butt, it may describe that man to a ‘T’ or maybe I missed by a mile. I seriously hope I’m wrong about all that. But it’s a couple of sobering thoughts for us guys to ponder as we go into the weekend. Do you have any fights you should walk away from? Are you ready for retirement? What are you going to do? How do you want to cash out when YOUR time comes? The time to think about that is NOW. Prolly it's a good time to DO something towards that too.
When I die I am probably going to be caked in excrement, with the smiling corpses of my arch enemies nearby. Maybe the less I think about that - the better…
Have a great weekend boys. See ya in hell! HAR HAR HAR!