Episode-1186- Joel Ryals on Raising the Next Generation of Men — 80 Comments

  1. This is one of the best podcasts I think you’ve ever done. I’m leaving this with, “I need to continue to surround myself with positive people” and most importantly “I am going to start making myself be a more positive person first.”

    This has absolutely come out at the most perfect time for me. (Any time is perfect for this right?) The wife’s sister came in to town this weekend, and I just found out how negative some people can be and most importantly how pessimistic people can be about other people, their ideas, and what they want in life. I much rather want to see people DO things they want to do. Try it give it a shot.

    • Furthermore, I have been tossing the idea around for a little bit, and I’m not sure if I’ll find any takers, but I’m officially going to start a programming mentorship/training program.

      There are all sorts of young adults who would love to get into programming but might think its too difficult or just don’t have the right training and direction.

      I’m sure a little 101 computer science classes to start with (any monkey could teach that) would be good, and see where it leads me. I’ve considered that there should be somebody here with me while I work… acting as an assistant. That would build their resume, and definitely build their REAL knowledge.

      • It is very rewarding to mentor a person that “wants it”. You learn as much as you teach.

        • I think that is the important point, finding the person who “wants it”. Not just wanting the money such a skill can bring, nor doing something productive with your time so your parents don’t fuss at you, a summer job which pays something (or nothing). But finding a person with passion for the subject who is willing to work.

          My advice to my programmer son before he takes on another intern, to find someone who really wants to learn the skill itself. He has found companies willing to sponsor his interns with the expectation they will go into programming and consider working for the sponsor company. After he tried that one summer, my suggestion was to have potential interns go through something like go to Codecademy and complete certain basic programming fundamentals before considering them for intern positions.

          I see how programmers, teaching the parts which matter most (newest stuff not taught in most universities) would be a shorter and more productive learning experience than most universities.

    • The New Mike, I am glad that you were inspired. I truly hope that programs like this start popping up all over the country. And every young man is going to have different things they are interested in. I will say that you will experience frustration as you work with most of these young men, but if you can work through the first year, it is usually very rewarding.

  2. Great show today on a topic that is very near and dear to my heart. As a father of 2 young boys, I am very aware of how our social conditions have changed and how our society has done a lot to emasculate boys and demonize our traditional ideas of what it means to be a man.

    When you started talking about giving boys tasks and letting them figure it out as a way to build confidence and as a way to teach them to fail in a good way, I kept hearing a quote in the back of my head,

    “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” – George S. Patton

    Keep up the good work!

    • Jesse, forcing young men to problem solve is painful for them at first, but once they build the confidence to tackle a problem, they really make a major step in the direction of growing up.

  3. So he believes that men need to be built thru a biblical foundation…hmm, imagine that.

    I wish him the best and success. In a country full of guys that slant more toward feminism and metrosexuals; he is definitely trying to push a boulder uphill. But that is what men do.

    • Scott, The challenge is a tough one. I have come to the conclusion though that the solution is not to get a million young men together in a football stadium and tell them how great it would be if they grew up, but to take a few at a time and invest heavily in them.

      This is the only method that I have seen real results with, but it really requires men all over the country to start doing this. If you are at all interested in starting a program of some kind and need any help, please let me know.

  4. excellent episode and perfect timing as I have just discovered I am going to be a father for the first time. jack are there any episodes youd recommend for the libertarian anarchist father to be? or any pointers or resources would be greatly appreciated

  5. When you asked him about “hard” skills, it sounds like his program only includes military training and business plan writing? Maybe I’m misunderstanding, but it seems like there is more to being a man than that. What about things like cooking a meal, making a budget, changing a tire, building a shed, etc. I feel like video game kids would be to do things that are NOT like Call of Duty… Or what about some soft skills mixed in: communication, peaceful argument resolution, decision making. Am I way off on that?

    • Stephen, That is a great point, and due to the length of the show, I am only able to cover the highlights of the program. But trainees here will be giving presentations to our small group as well as other groups, building projects, being responsible and held accountable for what they are given. We encounter all sorts of problems that need to be solved, some planned and some unplanned. Even if they never change a tire in the course, they would be able to figure it out by the time they leave the course.

      So I completely agree that we need far more than just the military training aspect and that is definitely covered in the course. Too bad we didn’t have 3-4 hours to talk every detail, but that is just not the format of the show.

      If you are interested in more details, check out my website and/or email me. I would love to explain how everything works in more detail.

  6. Character (or ‘being an adult’ 101)

    what do you do AFTER you fail?

    what do you absolutely REFUSE to compromise on, regardless of consequence?

    what do you SACRIFICE for what you believe in (daily)?

    what do you SACRIFICE for those whom you love (daily)?

    what do you do when you’re AFRAID?

  7. On the ‘coddling’ thing..

    IMO, the issue here is that the feminine desire to nurture isn’t being balanced by the masculine desire to toughen.

    Another way to put this might be that the feminine encourages dependence, and the masculine independence. If children are raised with only the feminine, or with the feminine being dominant (which is unnatural/out of balance) then they never learn independence (self-sufficiency).

    Interestingly, this kind of ties the problem at the individual level right back to the problem at the national level (which makes sense).. an encouragement and glorification of the feminine/dependence and a discouragement and vilification of the masculine/independent.

    Another way to say this..
    Feminine = communal, masculine = independent.
    Feminine = coming together, masculine = standing alone.

    Current societal propaganda vilifies masculinity, which makes sense if you want a compliant population. If you doubt it.. ask yourself, when was the last time you saw a sitcom where the man was ‘smart’ and the woman was ‘dumb’? Or for that matter, what was the last movie you saw where the male hero wasn’t a pretty little girl?

    (no offense to pretty girls.. being a girl is great, if you’re a girl. We just don’t need emasculated males being held up as role models for young men)

    • I think there are a lot of women who would be very offended by your comments. I dont’ think society vilifies masculinity, I think it doesn’t know how to understand it. Part of this is because a lot of men are naturally aggressive and competitive, which isn’t a bad thing in and of itself, but it CAN be a bad thing if it unnecessarily hurts innocent people or damages a community.

      You’re totally right to look at a lot of low-brow entertainment where men are either outdoors/wildmen types or dopey idiots who can’t tie their own shoes. I don’t think it’s “feminine” for a man to be nurturing. And I don’t think it’s “masculine” for a woman to be tough. Or I don’t agree with your whole “communal” vs. “independent” comparison, either. For example, a lot of people (not me) would say that men are the only people who should be pastors/priests in the church. Yet, religious figures are by definition communal since their purpose is to gather a congregation. I think it’s WAY more nuanced than what you or any of these other commentators are indicating.

      I get sick to death of hearing all this “man” “man” man” talk and it revolves around military and guns. Or dogs? Give me a break. And it’s certainly not a matter of ‘biblical’ principles, because there have been WAY MORE men in the world that didn’t ascribe to the Bible, and who are probably way better people than a priest who fondles a kid, or a pastor who cheats on his wife (of which I’ve known a few).

      One time I heard the simplified explanation that women speak face to face and men speak shoulder to shoulder. Or that women look into the family for its wellbeing (caring/nurturing) and men look out of the family for its wellbeing (protecting/providing). I think these are all little bits of the full pictures, but they’re definitely not the full picture.

      For me, I think of Werner Herzog who’s perhaps one of the baddest of all badasses and it’s because he’s fixated on principles, discipline, and honesty with himself and others. In a doc I saw with him he said, “there was a time that I was too busy with films that I didn’t cook myself a meal for a full year. It’s not right for a human man to not cook himself a meal at least once a week.” I think that’s much tougher (and more useful) than being able to “clear a room”. If you want a jumping off point to talk about masculinity, I would suggest to everyone that you watch his film “Fitzcarraldo”, and then tell me that being a man has anything to do with having a gun.

      Insidious, I see your other comment down the line, and you mention some other things, too. I agree with that stuff. I don’t want you to think I’m just being oppositional, because we’d probably agree on more than we’d disagree on. I just get a little fired up with these kinds of one-track discussions of “masculinity.” I think that the subject requires a lot of nuance and careful thought.

      Jack, I think that along with your “women of prepping” series (which on the whole has been some really really great interviews) you should find someone to talk about the next generation of women. Or maybe do a bit of a panel (can you do that on skype?) with a couple people (a man and a woman) talking back and forth about the topic. Thanks for getting us talking about all of this, too!

      • @Stephen –
        no offense taken =)

        I’m speaking in generalities.. which frankly is just a shorthand way for trying to edge closer to what is ‘true’.. I’m not a big fan of generalities, but they do help with developing a deeper, more nuanced understanding.

        I would like to point out, that I didn’t say anything about women or men in terms of traits.. i mentioned masculinity and femininity. Men and women exhibit both masculine and feminine traits based on temperament and circumstance.

        I would say that it is ‘manly’ to exhibit the proper traits (masculine or feminine) in the proper circumstance.. of course it is also ‘womanly’ to do so.

        my points are more to the belief that their is no lack of people promoting ‘feminine’ traits, but there is a message of masculine traits being dangerous..

        to quote you:
        .. a lot of men are naturally aggressive and competitive [masculine], which isn’t a bad thing in and of itself, but it CAN be a bad thing if it is unnecessary and hurts innocent people or damages a community.

        message: natural masculine traits can be dangerous and must be controlled.

        I have NEVER heard the counter message that passivity (the ‘feminine’ counter point to ‘masculine’ aggression)..

        ‘..CAN be a bad thing if it is unnecessary and hurts innocent people or damages a community.’

        Yet.. I think i could make a pretty compelling argument that passivity, and its dark twin apathy, have done more damage to the country, and are more responsible for its present state than aggression.

        just IMHO


        p.s. these ‘sides’ aren’t something I’m making up, there mostly taoist.. its the Yin/Yang balance.. where what you’re looking for is the right response in the right circumstance at the right time.. vs. the western ‘one right way at all times’

      • I agree with most of your points and analysis but I definitely take issue with your opening. “I think there are a lot of women who would be very offended by your comments. I dont’ think society vilifies masculinity,”

        A. You’re making a coercive statement (whether you realize it or not) about the feelings of women in response to Insidious beliefs and comments, in an attempt to get him to change his opinion. You’re attempting to use guilt to force him into submission to YOUR argument, (hence the word coercive). I think people rarely analyze this type of argumentation style but it is pervasive everywhere, and very irritating. Instead of pointing out his arguments (you do later, well, I might add) you immediately go for the “you should back down because women might be offended” approach. Who cares? The last thing we need in the society of today, is to be masked back from saying their beliefs (perhaps as a chance they may learn from their mistakes) by a fear of hurting someone’s feelings. Teacup generation = don’t speak up because others might be offended. MANY girls do this, and alot definitely don’t expect somebody to speak their mind in generally articulated and blunt terms. I have walked this path my entire life and I certainly feel confident in saying this. As a final point on this you state “Part of this is because a lot of men are naturally aggressive and competitive.” Couldn’t a man who isn’t “naturally aggressive and competitive” take offense to this as well? This is an adhoc argument. See the bottom of my next argument for further detail about why this is.

        B. This society and the “first world” society, in general, vilifies “masculinity”. If you don’t believe me go to any university and take a sociology course, particularly one on gender studies and relations, and you’ll find out for yourself. You even point this out in your own argument right after making the claim. “You’re totally right to look at a lot of low-brow entertainment where men are either outdoors/wildmen types or dopey idiots who can’t tie their own shoes.” I also might add that what constitutes masculinity has also been perverted by the elitist in society as well, to include all sorts of other nonsense. Regarding your statement about natural aggressiveness, I would say this your observations are likely a product of this environment we live in. You’re defining masculinity and the “hegemony” based off of the same trite ways that elitists love to demonize it. You yourself, made the argument about “it doesn’t vilify masculinity” then turn around and claim men and masculinity are often “naturally aggressive and competitive” and cause all sorts of harm in excess. Who the hell says that a masculine man should be destructive to his surroundings and community? I can certainly say what was discussed in the podcast, was NOT this.

        I don’t see a single argument you’ve made in the same light regarding an excess and over use of femininity. I think anybody and everybody can come up with these trite arguments regarding masculinity and the “white hegemony” on a whim, but regarding femininity it seems to be much more difficult… While I am certainly making a leap to “society” by your response, I have heard this same trite statements again and again. I have a degree for god sakes in Sociology from a not so “liberal” school to boot. Women in particular in this country are protected “minorities” in society, which are often given extra boosts and legs up. (Lets talk about the overwhelming “soft” bigotry of these actions another day) Not to mention overwhelmingly low scrutiny.

        I further belief that a lot of this removal of masculinity has come from the urban and suburbanization of the family. The mechanization of men’s work in the early 20th century (and before) pretty much removed most tasks men could do at home, and once you live in a city, there is effectively nothing “unique” about a man. Hence the metroization of men and the homogenization of roles responsibilities of men and women in such settings. TO THE CREDIT OF WOMEN, there is ALSO the destruction of traditional female qualities and I personally believe the removing of traditional woman roles from the house have been the result of that. Mechanization and developments in “technology” have outsourced nearly every single job done by the family, so that the family my leave the home, and do work for OTHER PEOPLE, on specialized tasks rather than being concerned with their own families (somebody else, namely corporations, have got that down). When I think of a perfect woman, I think of a tough as nails momma. Not some teacup perpetual girl who gets offended at the slightest thing, and isn’t willing to get their hands dirty in anything, and is too busy spent discussing how men don’t do anything and women get stuck with all the work. My motto, if there is work to be done, get it done (anybody, not just women).

        I think the cooking statement as well was shruggable at best. I think a man should be able to cook, but doesn’t necessarily HAVE to, but there is something to be said about setting tasks and responsibilities in the house, and whether that is the man or the woman it doesn’t matter. I catch a lot, and i mean a lot, of flak over the “traditional” split up of our duties in our house hold by my wife’s sisters. They are white, progressive, coastal, urbanites. (Go figure right). I live in rural Louisiana. My wife also makes more money than me in her career, but it doesn’t change the fact my wife can’t swing a hoe for hours on end in the summer heat. My wife does not have the capability of doing certain things, at least not well. Not to mention this exchanging of roles and other stuff requires splitting away from certain work and doing them, not to mention winding down. Do you want to do elegant cooking after you’ve dug 10+ feet of new garden beds in the summer heat by hand? I know I don’t, I can’t switch gears like that. At best I need to sit down, and drink something for awhile and relax.

        If cooking can be a man or woman activity, then in my mind, that doesn’t call it a man or woman activity, and doing or not doing it doesn’t make them any more a man or a woman. The lynch pin generally is that cooking requires time energy and effort, so the person who should be doing it generally should be the person who is free to do it (or MORE LIKELY, the person who LIKES to do it, and wants to do it). If you live in a rural setting where the man is doing outdoor activities, generally all day, generally that’s not the man.

        But like I said before, I agree with pretty much everything else you wrote, its just those particularly statements got me in a tizzy, as the brits like to say.

        • @Stephen
          Jusssssst so we are clear, my post is mostly to push the discussion forward beyond some of my personal perceived hang ups regarding “gender roles” and “gender relations” that I see on my daily basis (which I locked on in your comments).

          Rather than any sort of personal slight to you. =)

        • Our rules works like this.

          Tasks need to be done, they get distributed this way

          First – If one of us likes doing it, we do it and the other does it when they feel like it or is asked for help.

          Second – If one is significantly better then the other the party that is better does it most of the time.

          Third – If it just needs to be done and doesn’t require skill (take out trash) if we see it needing done and have a moment we do it.

          Fourth – shit neither of us wants to do at all but must be done, is negotiated as to the primary responsibility.

          Once we put this in place, the fourth category vanished in almost no time.

          We don’t assign anything based on gender roles but some stuff does work out that way. Some strange vehicle is at one of our fences, I am the guy with gun and tactical light. Something heavy needs lifting, I am the 200 pound man so I pick it the hell up. That said I am the cook I cook at least 90% of the time. I love to cook, I am really good at it and it is fun for me to cook. Unlike Mike it is something I love to do after digging in the garden, with a cold beer of course.

          Cooking I think depends a lot on what you eat. I cook meat, if she wants salad or veggies it is on her to wrap it in foil and all for the grill.

        • Jack, I definitely agree. I’m fine with doing the work and then making the meal with a cold one.

          Mike, I disagree with a lot of your disagreements and think they’re a bit bogus, but this probably isnt’ the place to hash that out. Other than the “coercive statement” bit. There was no intention of guilt or anything like that. I said that because I know a couple of women very close to me who would not stand for that to be said about them. They’re also the sort of people who don’t bother with comment sections, but are not afraid to speak up for themselves in person. And I don’t think that he SHOULDN’T say that, I just think that if someone says something kind of dickish, they should be called on it. I’ve definitely been called out on that in my life, and I don’t begrudge the people who’ve done it. I’ve heard enough men say that kind of stuff in a way that was shitty and condescending to their wives, that it annoys me to no end. And I’m not insinuating that Insidious does that at all, because I don’t know him. I’m saying that those comments smack of bullshit.

          One statement that irked me was “If children are raised with only the feminine, or with the feminine being dominant (which is unnatural/out of balance) then they never learn independence.” I completely disagree with that, unless I’m misunderstanding what Insidious means by it. I think with the explanation of “traits” instead of “genders” than I originally misunderstood.

          Insidious, I didn’t say, “message: natural masculine traits can be dangerous and must be controlled.” There was nothing about control in what I said.

          Now I can’t find which of you said it, but whoever said something about “passivity” being destructive is totally right. An example is that a good friend of mine had an abusive father and a mother who never got over the guilt of not divorcing him earlier. She babied my friend and his sister for their whole lives. I’ve seen him struggle with having to make decisions for himself and do things that a grown up should do. One of the clearest examples being that he’s 28 and never learned how to drive, mainly because his mom never made him do it, and drove him around everywhere. Passivity can be destructive. Aggression can be destructive.

          Back to my original point, I don’t see how gun training makes a man a man.

        • @Jack

          Well put. I didn’t have a bullet point list, but I can certainly cite what you’re referring to as roughly the way things work. I think you’re break down of how responsibilities get distributed is really the … go to way about it.

          From personal experiences I think there is way way way too much political goop that has dipped into the realm “men do nothing women do everything” (on both sides, men not doing something because its un-man and vice versa)

          I know ALOT, and been exposed to many girls that would agree with exactly what you said. Very offended by various comments. I challenge them to be a bit tougher, and to give a shit alot less about what other people seem to consider. If we’re talking about friends we know, or family members, thats one thing, its another when its just some other person.

          I definitely think there is too much boxing and over use of these words like feminine and masculine. I also think that people gravitate to particular definitions in order to suit some sort of agenda, or argumentation point, (for and against).

          My arguments are a bit bogus? Ok I guess that’s the cutting off point for discussing or learning i suppose?

          My only real contention was in your argumentation. Particularly one of coercion, and another of hypocracy. “There was no intention of guilt or anything like that.”
          I disagree, and that’s the problem, and why those statements are such a “pet peeve” of mine. They’re used all the time. I agree that perhaps you didn’t consider that when you said, but thats the statement and the intention behind it. (perhaps I did a poor job of arguing the reasoning earlier).

          By the very nature of you claiming some other person might be offended by his statement, you’re saying “don’t say this, not because of the incorrectness of the statement, but because somebody might get emotional about it, and I am banking on the fact that you are a good person who is moral and conscious to bend”. You made an emotional argument/appeal, with the intent on his personal guilt doing the correction, rather than the realization that your argument was correct. IMMEDIATELY AFTERWARDS you gave arguments, which were worth considering further. (See i’m giving you credit here, I’m just beating you up on… your starting point, which was coercive).

          Regarding the control thing, I think he put words in your mouth, however, I will say you left it empty and in such a way to that seems like the inevitable conclusion. If the natural tendencies of a man is destructive…. then…. we gotta do something about those tendencies, that or we revel in our destructive nature. Right?

          As you wanted to get to, your original point:
          “I get sick to death of hearing all this “man” “man” man” talk and it revolves around military and guns. Or dogs? Give me a break.” I KINDAAAA agree. I’d probably put it in a more tactful approach.

          I personally think there is a lot more to learning to be not only a man, but being a functional leader than learning 5 paragraph orders and conducting “missions”. If anything, at this point I might think some kids need to dial back the military obsessions. Without a doubt, the military does train and do a decent job at a lot of these things. (Or at least has an environment where these opportunities to lead are all over the place). I personally, would rather train for life, than military.

          I don’t know if anybody here listens to Mike Church (he is actually from right down the road) on Sirius XM, but he actually has very impressive arguments regarding a lot of these discussions to include historical precedence. One thing that strikes a cord with me, is his arguments on the over numification of people today to “kill” or just “dispose” of people. Play any game today, and its all about body counts. Its badass command, seal team dude this and that. Most successful games today, with males? In my mind the kill em all badass military guy games. But then again perhaps thats a good selling point to get brainwashed youth in, and transformed adults on the way out.

        • Understood. You’re straw-manning me quite a bit there and I still disagree with the “coercion” aspect. But for now, I think we’ve reached a point that we can settle out and shake hands.

          Thanks for the back and forth and for keeping it respectful, and I hope that I have been respectful as well. Best.

        • @Stephen –
          Yup.. not talking about male/female at all.

          Just saying we need balance in masculine/feminine aspects of being, particularly when raising children.

          Tea-cupping, IMO is all about an EXCESS of nurturing.. with ‘weaning’ (removal from the mother) never taking place (moving from dependence to independence).

          The gender of the parent or parents, isn’t really the issue. And obviously in a single parent situation, the single parent has the doubly tough task of playing both rolls (nurturer and wean-er) at the right times.

          and for the record.. gun training does not make a man a man..

          but.. like learning any skill, it offers opportunities to learn lessons about ‘being’ that are much more profound than the actual tasks/actions being performed.

          an ‘attractive’ task/action that a child WANTS to perform is a great opportunity to use their enthusiasm/desire as the fuel to teach them larger life lessons.

          but of course.. that task/action could be almost any complex thing (if its mastered too quickly.. there’s no time to learn larger lessons).

          always IMO

        • .. the ultimate goal by the way isn’t to stop at ‘independence’.. its to move from that into ‘interdependence’..

          so, and here i go again with pissing people off 😉

          you move from:
          feminine (child) -> masculine (teenager) -> balanced feminine + masculine (adult)

        • @Insidious
          Personally, insidious, from my observations of what you’re trying to get out, it seems like you’re trying very difficult to use these terms to suit what you’re trying to say. Here is an example:

          “feminine (child) -> masculine (teenager) -> balanced feminine + masculine (adult)”

          Is this for a female or a male? Or both? My wife, has a couple “masculine” traits, she’s picked up over the years, but I surely wouldn’t say as a teenager she was masculine. I can assure you we wouldn’t be married if she was loaded with what i consider “masculine” traits.

          At least as I see it, feminine is “like a female” and masculine is “like a male.” If thats the definition we go with (at least I’ll go with) then its clear everybody is coming at that with different conceptions, whether they evolved at them “naturally”, or were socially pressured into having those beliefs (and now use all sorts of arguing gymnastics to claim they have it figured out themselves, but thats another topic.)

          And which culture are we talking about? This urbanite homogenized nightmare that’s pouring out all over the world? “Country Southerners?” Or are we talking about Italian immigrants 100 years ago? I can assure you, they’ll come up with very very different interpretations of what is womanly and what is manly.

        • @New Mike (sorry wrong reply level)..

          I realized earlier that I’m getting WAY too esoteric and probably losing everyone and garbling the message.. =)

          for example:
          weapons skills ARE manly.. but having weapons skills does not MAKE you a man. So why are they ‘manly’? Because they’re related to ‘protection’ which is traditionally a male role.

          But of course ‘traditionally’ sounds like a cop out.. are they STILL manly? Or are we going to homogenize roles?

          The thing I would point to is animal behavior (so we can avoid socialization).. male and female animals have primary roles based on species. Humans are no different (though we’d like to think otherwise).

          Circumstances can force an animal, including the human kind, to take on roles that they are not as suited to.. and they will adapt.. or die.

          But what we’re really talking about is ‘the average’ man or woman.. and what roles the AVERAGE man or woman is best suited to.. which upsets a LOT of people (people don’t like to be told what they can or can’t do).

          the thing is a mapping of the human being dependent as a child (female energy in taoism) then fighting for independence from their parents (or being weaned) and becoming independent (masculine energy) to find out who they are as an individual.. and finally returning to relationship and community, but as an independent being (mixed energy of individual and communal/dependent).

          In marriage for example, your part of a ‘group’, but you simultaneously remain an individual.. and you have to balance your needs as an individual with the needs of the group.

          sorry if i’m getting a little to crazy for a comment board.. 😉

        • @New Mike –
          u can also just say ‘you’re full of shit’..

          I’ll take it in the spirit intended.. 😉

          and its good to hear every once in a while

        • @Insidious

          Love how this comment reply has gotten a million miles long….

          Hey i’m not saying you’re full of shizzzz. I have a bit more tact than that! I enjoyed your last posts. Couldn’t agree more. I’ll be honest, I’m really…. really…. REALLY…. not worried about what other people do with their relationships, unless they ask me, or it makes sense for me to share my opinion. I really… really… don’t care how other people organize their life or view gender roles.

          Everyone has to butt into the way other people organize their lives, and in general, I think its rude. For example, I’ve spent all these years discussing things with my wife and becoming best friends, and some 3rd party is going to butt in and attempt to say its not ok or its questionable that my wife does nearly everything people consider “Traditional” for a woman. And somehow I’m supposed to accept such statements (which aren’t even original arguments). (This I’m speaking about obviously recent events having nothing to do with anybody here. Funny how these things always seem to tie into each other at the right time.)

          You just never see it on the other end where somebody is going… “You know…. your wife ought to mow the lawn more often…. it just isn’t right for you to do all that work… and besides that is some traditional role of the man. She should be sharing the load.” I mean come on there isn’t a person here that wouldn’t read that statement and laugh, as being absurd. The situation is generally that you have two people working, and a bunch of tasks that need doing, and it would appear to me, nobody who wants to do them.

          Jack said it best with his list. That’s literally how it goes down here (just not in a perfectly established list). I just go… when shit needs doing (in your opinion) get it done. Some people like certain things done MORE frequently. The question remains less about what tasks goes to who, and more on how to work together as a team.

        • FTR if I had proposed our list to the wife it would have floated like a lead balloon. I just sort of did it with suggestions. LOL

          Really though by doing the first two on your own the others sort themselves out.

          Oh and my wife loves mowing, so much so that I have to keep her from doing it too much as I try to rehab this abused pasture of ours. But, given we have a kick ass tractor might have a lot to do with it huh?

        • yeah, ‘plans’ in our house work about as well as herding cats..

          so I just do stuff, and keep the ‘plan’ to myself.. if she see’s the value at some point and gets on board (which does sometimes happen).. so much the better.

      • “I get sick to death of hearing all this “man” “man” man” talk and it revolves around military and guns. Or dogs? Give me a break. And it’s certainly not a matter of ‘biblical’ principles, because there have been WAY MORE men in the world that didn’t ascribe to the Bible, and who are probably way better people than a priest who fondles a kid, or a pastor who cheats on his wife (of which I’ve known a few).”

        I can say from my own personal observation that Joel’s mentorship does not revolve around military, guns, or dogs. These are tools that he uses in a broader palette to teach real leadership skills (and dare I say it, “manly” skills), which in my opinion is extremely lacking in young men these days. And I disagree with your assertion that the priest or pastor in your example ascribe to the Bible – they most certainly do not if they are engaging in that kind of behavior. I wish Joel great success in his endeavor – it is sorely needed today. I only wish that my own son would have been able to spend more time with Joel’s boys before they moved back to Alaska – they would be the envy of any parent.

    • Insidious, These are exactly the questions young men are forced to work through here. There is a real “heart searching” that takes place during our course. We do not necessarily push an answer upon them, although I discuss my perspective. However, I hope that by the end of the course, it is clear that men must be sacrificial leaders for their families, churches, neighborhoods, etc. Men must work to accomplish those things worth working and accomplishing.

      I think that there are a lot of people out there who feel like all the great things worth accomplishing have already been done. We’ve sailed around the world, been to both poles, climbed every peak, etc. But what they do not realize is that we have the greatest accomplishments yet to achieve. We must rebuild a nation that will likely go through a huge and painful decentralization.

      This should excite young men to engage in the real world struggle and get away from the video games, but we must cast the vision before them.

  8. Loved this episode! As a father of a 14 year old daughter who needs a wheelchair, this episode was very encouraging and affirming. My daughter strives to accomplish things others would not expect her to do, and I can tell you that she gets great satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment when she reaches her goals. Today’s society would simply teach her to sit back and take advantage of the ‘benefits’ society has for her. As her parents, OUR goal is to prepare her to be a productive member of society, who doesn’t need any government assistance. Her attitude of focusing on what she CAN do rather than what she CAN’T has been a source of inspiration for us for almost 10 years now. I think she’d love the term “do-acracy”!

  9. Brilliant episode!!
    I have an 18 month old son and another boy on the way. My husband and I really want to raise our boys as resilient smart young men and everything you said today has hit home. Thank you for your show and I hope we are able to raise our boys to make a difference in this world, at least within their family environment and community.


  10. I really enjoyed this episode. Found myself nodding my head, and fist pumping all the way through it (probably freaking out the people in the cars next to me). We are home schoolers, and my son is out of college and in the world of work (he is a mechanic), and we used many of the techniques to ‘work ourselves out of a job’ as parents, as Jack and Joel discussed. Our son is doing well, because he knows how to try and solve problems for himself, and to seek help at the right time, when he can’t solve it himself, but after he has put effort and thought in to try. I am the same way, because my dad taught me to ‘adapt and overcome’.

  11. Do-ocracy
    i smiled as soon as i heard that, im an active member of my local makerspace, and do-acracy is exactly how most things get done here. examples, the toilet was running and all kinds of talk started via email about replacing the toilet with low flow, composting and all kinds of crazy ideas, i added a message to the thread stating “i fixed the toilet, 30 bucks, apply the reimbursement to my membership fees”, ive also decided how the wiring is done, the workbenches get built, and the shop gets set up, because i jump in and do-ocracy it. not because i want to take control, just because it needs to be done or improved and i enjoy doing it.

    • Mike, I’ve experienced this same sort of thing over and over. My family was getting slightly discouraged recently over a few local social issues, and I reminded them that we have always made an impact in the past because we have simply stepped in where there is a need and started doing. I wish more people would just “get ‘er done.”

  12. Seems cool. None of the God stuff came up in the interview. I doubt Jack would want his son to be indoctrinated in that fashion, being that he is a diest, not a Christian. Still, it looks like an amazing program, especially for Christian young men. Too bad the deadline for applying was June 30th, according to the course description page:

    • Actually a long discussion on this preceded this interview. Joel has his faith, a faith I respect and his program isn’t “church in the wilderness” or a “Christian indoctrination”, Joel simply makes his decisions from a biblical perspective.

      Would I want my son to go? Absolutely, my son is 23 and could us a bit of a jump start. While he is far beyond most 30 year olds it still isn’t up to where I think a 23 year old man should be. If you can’t handle another person talking about their faith you have a real problem with your own is how I feel.

      Let me put it this way Charlie, if you are Christian and say your and your family came to my home, (yes my home not even I to yours) and I served dinner and I knew you guys said grace. I would wait and even bow my head and be silent with respect while you and your family prayed. It would not offend me.

      I don’t think many people realize it but many deists do have a sort of way we pray ourselves. Prayer has value but many of us don’t even call it praying. It is more a quiet internal discussion that allows us the inner dialog and reflection mentioned which will lead us through reason to our own answers. We are not going to pray for snow and think God answered a prayer because it happened to snow though. Or feel if we pray had enough God will heal our sick friend or relative.

      I do believe prayer as a form of meditation has power on others. But that is a bit of a deep discussion for this format.

      • Jack, I would love for your son to attend if that worked out. We still need to get together for some of that dog training. It might be a good opportunity.

        • Yea it ain’t going to happen, part of why I would love him to do it, is precisely because, he wouldn’t ever do it.

    • @Jack
      I completely agree. If you’re not comfortable in your own skin when somebody discusses their own thoughts feelings and believes, you probably need to take a deeper look at yourself. I actually thoroughly enjoy talking to people who are “legitly” religious. I do not come from the same starting path as them, but there is always something I can learn or a perspective I hadn’t quite considered.

    • Charlie, The deadline on the current page was for our fall course. We are accepting applications for our spring course, and I will be updating the site shortly with the Alaskan Adventure. We are planning a spring black bear hunt. If you or your son are interested in attending, send your application in. It is a first come first served application process with a vetting of applicants.

      If you have any further questions, please feel free to email me.

  13. As a father of twin four year old boys I really enjoyed this episode Jack. My wife tends to treat them somewhat like tea cups. Now I make them do for themselves, within reason I mean they’re only four. However we are teaching them things that most kids don’t learn these days. They know to open a door for a lady, they clean up their toys after they’re done playing with them, and they listen pretty well. When I work on our cars or on the house they sit and watch me work and ask questions, and to me I believe this will payoff in the future as they see me physically working in front of their eyes. They know I leave and go to work Monday thru Friday but it’s different when they see you work. I think it’s a great example for them to build off of. I’m also teaching them about real wealth at an early age. When I show them a silver eagle or silver sentinel I’ll ask them what it is and they’ll reply “Silver and silver is real money”. I must admit, when they say that it makes me feel hopeful for their future and it makes me proud.

    • @Eaglesteel.. made me think of..

      something that I think is important to teaching any habit to a child is to explain, and have them meditate on the ‘why’ of the habit.

      so an example would be:
      Why do you open a door for a woman? (‘because that’s just what you do’ is not an acceptable answer)
      Why do you clean your room?
      Why do you need to put aside something for the future?

      there are some very deep lessons about being a ‘good’ human being in ‘simple habits’.. so if they’re getting the ‘why’ they’re learning a lot more than to just do the task because you told them to..

      when you tell a child to do x, and he asks ‘why?’.. ‘because i say so’ or ‘it’s the right thing to do’ isn’t a great answer.. but of course, to REALLY answer the why, we need to have put some thought into it ourselves, and not just be parroting what our parents told us to do.. 🙂

      (this isn’t strictly a reply to what you said.. it just got me thinking about all of the meaning there is in purposefully opening a door for someone (as opposed to habitually).. and how little most people pay attention to it)

      • Fair point! I should be more mindful of that. That kind of falls in line with what I said about work. They know that I go to work but when I work on the car or the house when I’m home, they ask why I’m doing that and I tell them why plus they see the end result.

    • Insidious makes a good point. If we lose the why, then it just becomes something that my parents did. They may do it out of habit for their lives, but it likely will not be passed on to their children.

      Knowing why we do/believe what we do will create a sense of generational faithfulness to the idea. And it will allow them to defend their position when challenged.

  14. Very, very good episode. Watching a nephew head off to college next weekend and everyone (myself included) is expecting him to fail for alot of the reasons covered in the show. He has never been forced to do for himself that which he can and he is in for a rude awakening along with his mother. I have 4 grandkids that are very young and are the reason I listen to your podcast.

    Too many modern parents want their kids to experience “childhood” without realizing they don’t grow up to be children, they grow up to be inept adults. Wait til they are elderly and need their kids to take care of them.

  15. Jack, this is one of the best and most important podcasts you’ve done. I so agree with you that we need to do something NOW before the opportunity slips through our fingers. I struggle daily with my 10 year old son, who can’t understand why he has to go feed the pigs and help me rotate the sheeps’ paddock when all his friends are playing video games while on the phone with each other. As someone mentioned earlier, it sure feels like trying to roll a boulder uphill, but man, it has to be done! Thanks Jack and Joel for kickstarting this discussion, but as per yesterday’s show, now let’s go out and do something about it!

      • The wife and I have definitely talked about this quite a bit. Its pretty obvious by observation that nothing ever goes as planned but I think the way I hope to get through this, is including the why piece and including them in on deeper discussions as early as feasible. I do remember quite well when I worked at a 6-12 rec center while a senior in high school that 8-10 year old’s can definitely comprehend a lot more than people might give them credit for. Obviously there were a few problem children, but quite a few responded to reason, much more than direct statements (especially if they knew you because they’d immediately ask WHYYYYYYY).

    • Gator Bee Gal, this is a very real struggle for parents and my encouragement is to bring them home and guard who they are friends with. At least until they have a solid foundation. Our children have been building their group of friends, but they come back to us now and explain why their friends have the wrong view of life and they are often encouraging their friends to stop acting childish.

      Reference the video games, I had the discussion with my sons about how they make you “feel” like you accomplish something, but you do not ACTUALLY accomplish anything. We want to be men who actually accomplish something significant. So we need to get out there and work. Now they go around telling their friends to stop pretending and start doing.

      • “Stop pretending and start doing”
        I LOVE that! I’m going to use that one for sure! Thanks Joel.

  16. Really enjoyed this show… Like someone upthread, I also have twin boys, 4 years old. This topic is something I think about quite a bit.

    I’d love to hear a show in the same vein directed towards younger children.

    But for now, my wife and I are already not ‘doing for them, what they can do for themselves’. And it’s really amazing what! and how much they can do for themselves once you stand back.

  17. Man up?
    I’d rather go Galt.
    I will not get married.
    I will not do more than the bare minimum.
    I prefer video games to risking a 50% divorce rate and having any children I may have taken away from me.
    I will not serve for this country or it’s military.
    I will do things for myself however, and this includes the other stuff you talk about on this show.
    But I won’t do it for people who use me or despise me or hold values that are contrary to that of my own and the NAP.
    I will go my own way.
    I’m 24 and there are more and more like me every day.

    • Oh and go Galt? If you think playing games, whining about the divorce rate and doing the bare minimum is the way to be you are no friken Galt.

      You may also need to work on LISTENING COMPREHENSION. Given Joel was advising young people NOT to join the military and never said anyone needed to get married.

    • =)
      Spoken like a teenager.

      Galt’s Gulch was filled with the honorable and trust worthy men, who through hard work and sacrifice had become highly skilled and disciplined men. Their unwillingness to compromise their integrity to ‘go along’ with a corrupt society is what caused them to leave it.. not their desire for a vacation.

      Everyone in Galt’s Gulch contributed to the community, or didn’t eat.

      ‘Being a man’ is not the same thing as ‘being a tool of the man’.. in fact, they’re the exact opposite.

      ‘Opting out’ isn’t enough.. you have to DO SOMETHING ELSE to make a difference.

      all IMHO

      • @Insidious
        “Spoken like a teenager.”: Spoken like an ad hominem.
        “[…]not their desire for a vacation.”: Going “Galt”, at least in from my understanding, is also NOT contributing to the society at large (hence the “shrug” part).
        “Everyone in Galt’s Gulch contributed to the community, or didn’t eat.”: I’m not going to tell anyone to not work or put effort in to the point where they can’t eat. But for me and many others, the costs vs benefits of the traditional path for a man just aren’t worth the effort. Just to show you I’m not unique in this position, I can reference you to books like “Men on Strike” or “Enjoy the Decline”. There are also many, many websites where people are expressing this same viewpoint.
        “‘Being a man’ is not the same thing as ‘being a tool of the man’.. in fact, they’re the exact opposite.”: My gripe is that what constitutes a “man” is subjective and everyone has their own BS opinion on what that is. The phrases “man up” or “be a man” are, in my view, simply shaming tactics to manipulate people who can’t think rationally or logically. My opinion is that these kind of shaming tactics are meant to cause an emotional self-attack within the victim, mostly based upon adequacy towards their sexuality. Even if that’s off-base, a logical person would ask the other to define what a “man” is. Unless they say something along the lines of a person who has an XY set of chromosomes, they are espousing a purely subjective point of view that probably has nothing to do with being inherently male, but far more likely has to do with what society (ie other people) want to use (manipulate) that man for, be that another tax source or a grunt in some armed gang or a cog in a factory or maybe just an enforcer of some BS culture.
        “‘Opting out’ isn’t enough.. you have to DO SOMETHING ELSE to make a difference.”: There are very few things the one “has” to do, and those are mostly related to one’s biologic requirements. “Making a difference”, however is not one of them. I might find common ground with you if you had specified “make a difference for yourself”, but I think you and I would disagree on how to go about doing that.

        @Modern Survival
        “Oh and go Galt? If you think playing games, whining about the divorce rate and doing the bare minimum is the way to be you are no friken Galt.”: I don’t have to be, Jack. All I have to do is shrug.

        “You may also need to work on LISTENING COMPREHENSION. Given Joel was advising young people NOT to join the military and never said anyone needed to get married.”: Well, first, to be precise, I did not specifically write that Joel advocated those things. You, however, did push for people to join the armed forces. Even if you hadn’t, and even if both of you don’t push for men to get married, that’s still what many people are pushing for when they tell men to go out and “man up”. Sometimes it’s indirect, like in telling someone that “minimum wage” isn’t good enough. Well, I’d have to ask then, good enough for whom? A single man can live a decent life on a wage/income far, far lower than that of a married man or man with a family to support. It’s simple a matter of the margin that is left over after basic necessities that can be qualified as “disposable income”. A larger percent is going to be that when you’re single.

        I hope that didn’t step on too many toes.

        • @Anon1234 –
          No toes stepped on.. some good points.

          I agree that anyone saying ‘do x or you’re a y’ or ‘do x to prove you’re a y’ etc. is pure manipulation.

          You are perfectly correct in stating that you, as a free person, don’t have to do ANYTHING, that you don’t chose to do. And that the choice to do anything is YOUR CHOICE. Totally on board with your freedom to do/not do anything.

          My statement about doing something else was an (incorrect) read on my part that you felt you were ‘making a real difference’ by not contributing to/participating in the status quo ‘society’.

          This is something I’ve heard from others.. where they feel they are ‘striking a real blow for freedom’ by being a lazy slave rather than a productive slave.

          So.. I’m not suggesting you buy into someone else’s ‘better future’ or try to ‘change the system from inside’ (ha!).. I’m suggesting that you spend your time/energy building the future/society YOU want.

          and by ‘society’.. I’m just talking about you and the people around you.. unless you’re going to live alone in the wilderness with no outside contact.. you’re going to be part of some larger group of people.. the quality of those people, and how they interact with each other is ‘society’.

          but again.. you’re free. you can choose to have no hand in shaping that society.. you can choose to have no impact and leave no mark.

          personally, I can’t do that, as I do believe that ‘evil triumphs when good men do nothing’.. and I’m not a big fan of evil

          (watch someone be tortured, raped, hacked to death machete, or be burned alive.. and you stop thinking of ‘evil’ as a religious abstraction)

          nice reply Anon =)

        • @Anon1234
          I didn’t address subjectivity.. so, short version:
          EVERY human experience and value judgement by definition is subjective.

          Definitions of words (man) are commonly agreed upon (XY chromosone) but as soon as we get into what it means ‘to be’ something.. we’re right into subjectivity.

          I would argue that there is both intrinsic and extrinsic value in understanding the ‘nature’ of a thing. Particularly when that thing is your ‘self’. So that the thing can be employed ‘correctly’ (in the most advantageous manner).

          But someone else TELLING you something.. is not the same as ‘knowing’ it, nor is being able to parrot what you’ve been told.

          So there’s always the ‘is this true? when? from what perspective?’ etc. process after hearing/reading/being told something.. if u want to reach any sort of understanding.. and then the ‘meditating upon’ it thing if you want it to sink any lower than your brain (to move it from ‘knowing about’ to ‘knowing’).

          all IMO

          p.s. men-marriage-children.. yes, this can be a fantastic way to control slaves and get them to work harder. so can a mortgage. someone with ‘nothing to lose’ is very hard to control.. but the flip side is that someone with ‘nothing to lose’.. has nothing.

        • I should think b4 I post.. 😉

          simpler/less dramatic version:

          you can actively create the future u want..
          you can passively accept the future others are creating for u.

          if u don’t like the present ‘they’ have created for you.. u probably won’t like the future ‘they’ have planned

        • Stepped on toes, no I don’t take spoiled children seriously. I also didn’t encourage anyone to join anything. Perhaps if you didn’t play HALO while listening you might get the point.

          Have a great life, when you are 40 though and haven’t shit to your name, don’t go protesting about how it “its unfair”.

          Enjoy your status as a tea cup.

    • they weren’t ‘kicking back’ in Galt’s Gulch.. they were actively building a NEW society..

    • Do you realize you are taking a stance completely out of fear?

      I won’t get married because most end in divorce.
      I won’t have children because they might get taken away.
      I won’t do more than the bare minimum because it might get taxed, used in a way I don’t approve of, or taken away.

      That’s not rebellion, dude… that’s fear.
      That’s no way to live, and it is certainly NOT going Galt. I’m curious as to if you’ve even read Atlas Shrugged, or if you’ve just had a friend tell you the Cliff Notes version or only watched the movies.
      Either way, pick up the book and read it again. Twice, if necessary. It’s long, but it’s not hard. I’ve read it multiple times and even read it aloud to my husband and sons.

      Please just give me the benefit of the doubt when I tell you that you aren’t “getting it”, and read it again.
      If any of the people in Atlas Shrugged who ended up in the Gulch had lived their lives like you’re planning to, out of fear, they wouldn’t have been invited to the Gulch in the first place. They’d be labeled moochers, and left to rot as the system supporting them collapsed upon itself.

      The Gulchers were fearless, driven, hard-working people who did what they wanted to do regardless of the risks and consequences. When they went to the Gulch, they didn’t stop being those people, they didn’t stop taking those risks. They continued to build, to make a bank, to write symphonies, to create… to DO.
      Not sit on their butts and “chillax”.

      • Also, when/if this system does collapse upon itself (because we all know it’s not sustainable), and it’s left up to the people to pull their boots on and get to work, what are you going to contribute?

        What skills will you have that will make you valuable?
        “Haughty cynicism” is not a skill.

        You’re 24. Pretty good bet that the economy is going to tank in your lifetime. How is your life plan of “doing the bare minimum” going to help you survive when the entire country is living a repeat of the Great Depression on steroids? Who is going to hire you when jobs are precious and few, and you have no skills? How are you going to support yourself when you’re only used to doing the bare minimum, hard work or persevering through fatigue/pain/frustration/adversity are completely alien concepts, and again – you have no skills upon which to draw?

        Follow this plan, and you’re going to be in the bread line. If there even is a bread line.

        • Anon1234 here.

          If by fear you mean an irrational emotional reaction, you’re wrong.
          It’s a logical cost/benefit & risk/reward analysis, the core to any decision one makes in own’s own rational self interest.
          Marriage isn’t worth it for a lot of men like myself.
          It carries massive financial and emotional risks for negligible financial rewards comparatively. There’s a reason the rates have declined and it’s not because men won’t grow up and stop playing video games (Rates are at historic lows:
          A 50% divorce rate (75% in places like California) doesn’t even include marriages that still exist but are unhappy). I’d rather just not play that game of roulette, especially when children may be involved.
          Children are not a labor source like the 17th century. It costs several hundreds of thousands of dollars to bring a child to adulthood in today’s society. Most children are conceived by accident, and the ones that are planned are often for ridiculous reasons (like these: Around 10% of children that men believe are theirs… are not (source: That’s not to say there isn’t a good reason to have kids (I’ve heard a few), but the odds and circumstances that one has to accept to get there are just counter to one’s own interest.
          Joining the military certainly isn’t in one’s own self-interest. Financially or ethically in my opinion, not to mention the chance you get killed.
          Lastly, I think I was largely misunderstood with my “doing the minimum” quote. I’m all for learning new skills, and I mentioned that the things Jack talks about on the show (skills included) are worth trying/learning if so inclined. Doing the minimum doesn’t necessarily doing minimum wage unskilled labor. One can learn a skilled trade and work fewer hours relative to the minimum wage job. You’d walk away with the same amount of cash that you need for your basic needs/wants, and you have more free time available to you to pursue your other interests. Since you’re unencumbered for the rest of your life, without the risks associated with marriage/kids, you don’t need participate in a 40 hour work week like your traditional DISPOSABLE male path. So to sum it up, if you are earning $20/hr, just work half the hours (or just work half the year) that you would if you were making $10/hr minimum wage.
          Society has this mantra of male disposability. If you don’t believe me, there are several arguments/websites that delineate examples of this (just google search “Male disposability”). I don’t care for a society or a person that considers me disposable. I’ll just do my own thing and pursue my own desires. Anyone who has a problem with that can eat sand. I’m not going to be shamed into anything. I just hope other men make their own decisions based on their own self interest rather than the machinations and manipulations of others.

  18. I want to start off by saying, I’m a big fan of mentorship and I like what Joel is doing. I also think the apprenciteship model badly needs to be brought back. But to believe in those things doesn’t require bashing the current generation as a weaker version than it’s predecessors. I think Matt Bors famous comic strip really summed it up.

    As a millenial myself (27), the same tired line is getting old. As Matt says, “Millenials are not marrying, buying houses and having kids later because they’re trying to beat a video game. They’re “delaying adulthood” because the job market is the worst it’s been since the Great Depression.” For a group that’s so entitled to be “given” a job, we seem to be ones growing up in an era where internships only come unpaid, the idea of a summer job paying for college is laughable (and you almost need a masters for anything now), and the old paradigm of comfortable corporate work is wilting. For those that were geared toward an assembly line, those jobs are largely gone as well, replaced by retail and fast food work.

    I don’t say this to feel sorry for my generation or myself. I’m a well paid professional in finance, with a house, garden, car, and girlfriend so there’s no need to make excuses for myself. I say it because bashing our age group is becoming a very trending thing to do by older generations recently (see Time Magazine cover). I’m still in touch with a large number of people from childhood, high school and college, even if sometimes only from facebook. I can tell you that I don’t know a single person living with their parents (or roommates) because they’re lazy, smoking pot, or playing halo. Most are doing ok on their own and the ones who aren’t are there because it’s what they can afford. The comments about my entire generation are both unfair generalizations to put across millions and lazy thinking based on stereotypes.

    • @Adam –
      As a Gen X’er I remember being subjected to the same sorts of stereotypes.. humans do love to lump people into categories and then judge them! 😉

      Here’s an example of the effects on my generation:

      Which I’ve recently been thinking of as (get ready for the generalizations and judgements!):

      Artist Generation – Setup the party (Silent Generation)
      Prophet Generation – PARTY!!!! (Boomers)
      Nomad Generation – Clean up after the party (Gen X)
      Heroic Generation – Pay for the party (Millenials)

      On the plus side, if the Fourth Turning stuff turns out to hold true, the ‘survivors’ in your generation will get to bask in your heroism during a comfortable retirement, idolized by your children and grandchildren..

      Whereas my generation, will die broke, and unappreciated..


    • Generalizations are never good. Lazy people come at whatever age. Plenty of examples. Great point on the job availability.

      My 16 year old gets up early to swim with her team at 6 am. Not just the school year, but during Thanksgiving break, Christmas break, most of the summer. After school it is either weights or more swimming, then supper, and homework. Saturdays are often booked with out of town swim meets. The kids she swims with are some of the hardest working, brightest kids you’ll find anywhere.

      She regrets not getting her lifeguard certification. She put in many applications (fast food and retail) but did not get a summer job. Those with their lifeguard training had 1-2 summer jobs. What she ran into was, plenty of 16 year olds who want jobs, but there are also many over 18 who’ll work minimum wage and there are things 16 year olds can’t do. She wanted to do contract work online, even something as boring as filling in spread sheets, however companies don’t want the extra red tape of hiring a 16 year old, not that short applicants.

      When I was 16, jobs were more plentiful. Babysitting, yard jobs, fast food. My older brothers had no problem getting summer construction jobs which paid very well for the summer. Many of these same low paying jobs are now done by those older, even those who are supporting families. She has done some volunteer work this summer and people were impressed how long she worked without complaining. She helped paint an older building being converted to a library, she helped clean the home of two women in poor health, helped clean up a trailer for a young family to move into, helped a couple families move.

      My 19 year old also put in applications for a summer job. She regrets not re certifying her lifesaving certificate. She didn’t want to work fast food, didn’t find a job, several temp places (after spending a day with all their tests, etc) said they had plenty of work, but didn’t call until the end of the summer. She did work for 2 weeks at a fireworks stand (right place, right time) which she loved, and now has a Christmas break job and a deep discount on fireworks. She had a couple people commission her to draw charcoal drawings of their kids. She spent the summer traveling with various older siblings, helping with their kids, etc. Taught one niece to swim. Fun, helpful but very short cash for college.

      Her next older brother had no problem finding a summer job, first place wanted to hire him for a job which has been vacant for months. Better than minimum wage, but the interviewer’s boss wouldn’t make an exception to the no summer help policy. Next he bumped into a friend at the mall, new food place in town opening up in a week, put in an application, hired next day, gets almost 40 hours a week, gets paid minimum, trains their new people. Saved some money, but not anywhere near enough to cover the school year.

      Next son just finished his engineering degree/ masters. Very good at what he does. Put himself through school, no student loans, a couple thousand to spare. Top of his class. Has been putting in applications this summer, not even a nibble.

      He’ll continue as a research assistant for a bit while looking for job (pay in the minimum wage category for graduate students and some professors don’t like to share credit for the work done with their students, luckily he has a good professor). He has never had problems looking for a job before, usually the first person he talks to, hires him.

      When he finished his BS degree, the place he summer interned for offered to start a branch of their company at his grad school for him to run. He didn’t see how he could get a company off the ground and go through grad school same time. His professor once talked about them starting a company together also. He loves working with 3-D printers. He is now working on organizing his own company and looking at funding options, etc. Much more fun than putting in applications wondering if you’ll ever hear from anyone. Employment is still an option if interesting.

      One of his older brothers works for himself, some years making a 6 figure income. My parents weren’t self-employed, nor my grandparents, nor my husband’s parents and grandparents. Yet it seems that is changing. If you can’t find a job you want, why not create your own? Glad that is part of the training, I think it’ll be needed.

      • I looked at your website and realized you are a disciple-maker… you’re changing lives and winning back our nation one young man at a time. I can’t even express how epic that is!

        You’re an inspiration, man. Keep it up, and God bless!

  19. Jack, this episode further confirms my support of what you’re doing with The Survival Podcast. I was hoping for an episode to address the teacup generation. In my early thirties, I often wonder how to teach my 5 year old son the things I feel deficient in. Thanks for bringing Joel on and helping me see some paths I can take to teach my kids to think and be capable.

  20. I am half way through this podcast. Somethings I have noticed is the man speaks like so many officers I had experiences with in the army that thought their shit never stunk.

    But what really grabbed my goat is the whole two years of military experience in 4 months. Well no. That would be greatly incorrect. Maybe on the MP officer side of things. Then again many great soldiers left the army because of the crappy leadership coming from officers in your year grouping. You know the surveys out there concerning trust in leadership.

  21. Burlington, Sorry you got that impression. Whenever someone sees a problem and addresses it, they are in danger of being perceived as if they don’t struggle with the same problem themselves. We are all suffering from the cultural influence of emasculation. However, we have two ways of approaching the problem, we can sit back and do nothing because we don’t want people to think we are claiming to have it all together, or we can stand up and do something about it. I have seen in the circles I run in, that the movers are often judged as thinking they are perfect. But as I have been privileged to get to know these men better, they are very humble and understand their own failures far better than most. But despite their understanding of their own shortcomings, they are willing to step into the gap and do something to help improve the situation. Despite the fact that I was an officer, I have never been accused of being “an officer” and generally exactly the opposite. I am not the person that sits around the theorizes, I am the person who does. Not always perfectly or even well at times, but I am a doer nonetheless.

    I hope this helps to expand your perspective and the reasoning behind the approach during an hour long interview.