I revisited John Eldredge's book Wild at Heart in researching an article just now. You will see that at Amazon you can get 33% off. His thesis is that men are bored and need:
- A battle to fight
- An adventure to live
- A beauty to rescue
I dismissed him when I first read the book, a gift from a well-meaning colleague, as someone who was just not like me. I now think it's worse than that. He's wrong. All these books that send men back into their caves to rest or back to fairyland to rescue damsels don't propel men into an exciting future but strand them in a depressing past. Men are evolving. Evolving a more caring side (slowly). Evolving a more subservient side (on occasions). Evolving to be less wild.
There may still be trouble in town-centres on Saturday nights (although note there hasn't been much publicity about beer-fuelled over-exuberance this Christmas due to the apparent early success of the new later-opening legislation) because some men are still a bit wild, but the secret is not to find ways to be wild more safely but to understand evolution.
Eldredge says you can tell what a creature is for by watching it. Labradors love water he says. Well maybe. But does that mean the labrador is cruelly abused if kept in a home miles from a river? Course not. They just find something else to love. Eagles love to soar he says. Do they bollocks. Ignoring the philosophical question of whether a creature with limited intelligence can love anything, they just do it because they have evolved like that to catch fish and rabbits, we must note that looking to the past for information about how to behave now will not help you to adapt to the changing world around you, or even, if you are creative enough, to adapt the changing world around you to you.
Men may love battles but they shouldn't. They should perhaps dream of a world where all the damsels can cope alone. In short, they should get out more. Don't go backwards, evolve.
Still won't play phone games with my mother. Yet. The whole of the ball isn't over the whole of the line.