Monthly Archives: November 2014

Man’s Virtues

“What we have a right to expect of the American boy is that he shall turn out to be a good American man.” — Theodore Roosevelt, The American Boy

“What we have a right to expect of the American boy is that he shall turn out to be a good American man.” — Theodore Roosevelt, The American Boy

What does it mean to be a man? Does it mean we down liters of ice-cold beer or that we drink just to enjoy the taste of beer (temperance)? How much thought is put into what kind of man we want to be — particularly when we enter our twenties? When I was in my twenties, I was more concerned with what I should major in than what kind of man I wanted to be in ten years.

There are many men throughout history who feel leading a virtuous life is the proper way to achieve manliness. Art of Manliness (AoM) is a modern guide of sorts for those aspiring to learn what it is to be yesterday’s man in today’s world. Brett McKay, founder of AoM, has this to say about virtue:

“When most people today hear the word “virtue,” they usually don’t think “manliness.”…However, virtue is far from being sissy or effeminate. The word “virtue” is actually rooted in “manliness.” “Virtue” comes from the Latin virtus, which in turn is derived from vir, Latin for “manliness.”’ ¹

Renaissance man Benjamin Franklin sought to achieve moral perfection as a young man in his twenties and eventually created a system of values to live by.

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