Interesting article and a long one.  I read portions of the article and was struck by some of what was said.  These things were "Choose the Hard Way, Develop toughness, Develop your body, Become competent" among others.

One of the things I've noticed throughout my lifetime is that often men will take the easy way out.  What I mean is that if there is something that needs to be done around the house they will pay someone to do it for them.  Sometimes this is not due to need or other requirements just that they do not know how to do the thing and there are others that have that knowledge; other times it is that they do not want to do what needs to be done so they hire someone to do it while they sit back and 'take it easy'.  If one wants to accomplish 'manhood', become a man or whatever you wish to call it and this "Semper Virilus' seems to be a way to obtain the goal or take the journey then why would you not accomplish a great many of the steps at one time.  For example, if you need to have drainage in your yard because it becomes a swamp (alligators not included) each time it rains then why would you not get on the Internet and look up how to install a french drain, take up your shovel and get to work on building the french drain yourself?  Doing this accomplishes several steps in the S-V.  It is the hard way, it helps develop toughness (physical and mental), it develops your body, you learn something and become competent, you provide for your family, you protect your family (from snakes and other swamp denizens), and others.

While doing it yourself does take time and a whole lot of effort and having someone do it for you allows you to sit on your couch and eat bon-bons think of the bragging rights you earn by doing it yourself.  I recently dug a trench to fix my pool filter line and a friend came by and saw the ditch.  He asked me how much it cost to rent the trenching machine.  I told him I had dug it by hand, his response was "Damn, how did you get the sides so vertical?".  Ok, I'm bragging here but I earned that, I was proud of my hard work and it showed.  It may only be a ditch but it was something I had done that was hard and exhausting.  Yes it took me longer than if I had used a machine, or hired someone to do it but the total cost of the repair was $80 in materials for the PVC pipe and glue, instead of several hundred to thousands for a professional to do what I could have done (provide). 

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My only reservation about taking the hard road by default each and every time is that I've seen a lot of guys do this not out of necessity nor because they enjoy the challenge nor because they want to learn a skill they'll be able to use in the future but because it gives them an excuse for prolonged escapism from their wife and kids. They pat themselves on the pat and justify it as being manly and dutiful but the fact of the matter is that, in those cases, it's nothing more than running away from their true duties as fathers and husbands.

This clearly isn't the case for the majority of guys who are into DIY but I mention it nonetheless because I've seen it happen enough times that I feel it's worth bringing up. Your wife and kids won't care how handy and manly you are if you're never around to spend time with them because you're always "working on something".


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