Rule # 15 – Be Compassionate

The fifteenth rule of being a man is:

Be compassionate

People matter

Much of the meaning, joy, and value of life is derived from our relationships and interactions with others.

Think about everything that you do. How much of it would matter if you were the only person on earth?

Would you go to work? Not likely. Your work wouldn’t have meaning. Not just because you don’t need to work to get paid, but because the things you do at work are likely to help someone else.

That’s how our world works. Almost everything we do, we do because of the other people in our lives.

Doctors help other people. Lawyers and accountants help other people. Truck drivers, drive because they’re delivering goods so that other people can use or buy them.

Farmers raise way more food than they can eat because they are providing it for the rest of the country.

What would life be without other people?

What you do matters

Every action you take and every thing you say to another person affects someone.

That affect can be positive or it can be negative.

That’s why it’s important to always see others as human beings. Human beings with value.

Everyone is a human being just like you with wants, needs, strengths, weaknesses, hopes, and fears just like you have.

When you show compassion, you treat others as human beings of value.

You reinforce their worth and show them that they matter.

The opposite of compassion

Here are words that mean the opposite of compassion:

  • Cruelty
  • Meanness
  • Hatred
  • Harshness
  • Indifference

I don’t want to treat anyone with cruelty, hatred, harshness, meanness, or indifference and I don’t want anyone to treat me in any of those ways.

I’m sure you don’t either.

They’re all negative behaviors that destroy relationships and create enemies. In the best case, indifference, is still a very uncaring way to be treated.

Imagine if you are suffering and the hospital staff treat you with indifference. How would you feel?

I would feel let down and rejected. I would feel like they were telling me I am not a worthy human being, that I don’t matter.

When you treat someone with indifference, your actions say that you don’t care about them. That’s not how a man treats others.

Compassion isn’t always easy

Sometimes it can be hard to show compassion.

Like when someone cuts you off in traffic or causes a traffic accident. In cases like those, it’s often very easy to get angry and to think of that other person as dumb or reckless.

You might want to call them names like “idiot” or worse.

Other times maybe it’s a struggle to show compassion when your children are misbehaving. Again, you might be tempted to get angry and shout at them or threaten them, “If you don’t go to bed right now, I’ll ground you for a week!”

But if you think about the other person in those situations and show compassion for them, they will feel better and you’ll often find you do too.

The person who hit your car didn’t do it on purpose. They aren’t happy to have caused the accident and they’re probably beating themselves up inside over it. At the very least, they will have to deal with insurance and car repairs and all the same things that are upsetting you.

And your children aren’t misbehaving to purposely make you angry. They have wants and needs and are trying to meet those needs and learn their way in the world. Maybe they feel like they haven’t gotten enough attention lately or maybe they are trying to express more independence and don’t know a better way.

Showing compassion makes a difference

When you show compassion and treat others as human beings first, then you:

  • Understand that they are imperfect, flawed, and struggling just like you are at time
  • Won’t see them as an enemy or a burden
  • Give yourself the opportunity to see them as a gift
  • See this moment as an chance to make a positive difference in their lives

Showing compassion to others makes a positive difference in everyone’s life.

– Weston Henry

Questions:

Do you show compassion in your treatment and interactions with others?

Can you think of a situation where you didn’t show compassion? How could you have handled it differently to show more compassion?

Is there a time that sticks out in your mind when someone treated you with compassion? How did that make you feel?

 Is there a time when someone didn’t treat you with compassion? How did you feel afterward?

How can we make compassion a habit so that it’s our normal everyday behavior?

Rule # 14 – Look Out For Your Team

The fourteenth rule of being a man is:

Look out for your team

The people who depend on you, who look up to you, and who need you are your team.

Your team could be your children, your spouse, co-workers, or players on a sports team.

Whoever your team is, you look out for them.

You become a leader when Continue reading “Rule # 14 – Look Out For Your Team”

Rule # 13 – Take Care Of Yourself

The thirteenth rule of being a man is:

Take care of yourself

In order to accomplish your goals; in order to protect, lead, and provide for those who depend on you; and in order to make the biggest impact in the world, you have to take care of yourself.

Many expressions of manliness in the media and popular culture portray an ideal of men who end up destroying themselves as a positive image.

The message seems to be that in order to be a “good” man, you have to work yourself to death.

Continue reading “Rule # 13 – Take Care Of Yourself”

Rule # 12 – Patience And Persistence (Take A Long-Term View)

The twelfth rule of being a man is:

Have patience and persistence (take a long-term view)

As a man you must have patience and persistence. You need to take a long-term view of things. Understand that great things, things worth having, take time.

Any great accomplishment took time. Building the Hoover Dam or Mount Rushmore each took an enormous amount of time and effort.

That time and effort actually started long before the first worker showed up with a shovel. It started with a Continue reading “Rule # 12 – Patience And Persistence (Take A Long-Term View)”

Rule # 11 – Never Apologize For What You Want

The eleventh rule of being a man is:

Never apologize for what you want

You don’t need to apologize for what you want, whatever it is.

Sometimes the people around you or the messages from society will not be approving of your wants. You will get push back, disapproval, and rejection.

Maybe you’ll be told you’re not worthy of having what you want, that you’re not good enough. Or maybe you’ll be told you don’t deserve it, that Continue reading “Rule # 11 – Never Apologize For What You Want”

Rule # 10 – Go After It

The tenth rule of being a man is:

Go after it

Rule number 9 was “Know What You Want” which directly connects with rule 10, “Go After It.” Go after what you want.

A man goes after what he wants. So go after what you want and don’t settle.

And don’t give up. Giving up or settling is weak. It’s telling yourself (and the world) that you aren’t capable of getting what you want.
Instead, keep trying, keep working, and keep going after what you want. If you give up, you automatically Continue reading “Rule # 10 – Go After It”

Rule # 9 – Know What You Want

The ninth rule of being a man is:

Know what you want

In order for you to be true to yourself and to have a plan for your life, you have to know yourself and know what you want.

Being honest with yourself is an important part of being a man. And it’s especially true here.

In order to know what you want, you have to know Continue reading “Rule # 9 – Know What You Want”

Rule # 8 – Stick Up For What You Believe In

The eighth rule of being a man is:

Stick up for what you believe in

Sticking up for what you believe in is another form of doing the right thing. Because if you believe in something then you should stick up for it.

Speak out!

Take up the cause.

Dedicate some of your time and energy to improving the situation.

It’s one thing to say you believe in something. But it’s another thing to Continue reading “Rule # 8 – Stick Up For What You Believe In”

Rule #7 – Be Clear On Your Values

The seventh rule of being a man is:

Be clear on your values

It’s important for everyone to know their values. And this is especially true for men.

You need to know what matters most to you and what kind of person you want to be.

Once you know those things, then you can have rules for your life and commit to living by them.

It’s crucially important that you Continue reading “Rule #7 – Be Clear On Your Values”