Ever since the industrial revolution when man stopped working with his hands in the fields and begun laboring inside offices there has been a crisis in masculinity.
Many men seek to fill the void of reaping what you sow and building with your own hands with superficial things like showing off wealth, muscles, or sexual conquests.
Modern man no longer has knights or Musketeers to look up to, they seem too distant for any young man in the 21st century to relate to, instead society glorifies billionaires, rappers and gangsters as the "real" men.
Many young men believe that we have to chose between being a bully who puts other people down, a hypermasculine "Chad", and a push over who lets others walk all over him, the stereotypical "nice guy" who finishes last.
If there is anyone who can prove that guys don't have to chose between the two it is Teddy Roosevelt.
You see Teddy did not prove he was a man by putting those beneath him down, instead he built his subordinates up. He didn't show off his wealth instead he fought for the poor and established labor protections for orphans, veterans and the common man. Teddy Roosevelt didn't bully the little guy for political expedience instead he took on large corporations and broke up trusts for the little guy. When Teddy saw injustice, he did not just sit on his hands and surrender, he fought back. One example of this is after he was done serving as President and saw the fighting that was going on in Europe during WWI, instead of sitting idly by he asked President Woodrow Wilson permission to raise divisions of American volunteers to lead himself in Europe!
Teddy Roosevelt was a man of action, and in many ways a contradiction, a hero in both waging war and making peace, he is after all the only person in history to have won both a Medal of Honor and the Nobel Peace Prize. He was more country than the country folk, having been a rancher and a sheriff in the Dakota territories and more city than the city folk, he was an Ivy league graduate and governor of New York state. He was a huge progressive for his time and established many labor practices for the benefit of the average worker, but he also wished to protect and conserve what was good in America, which is why he established the national parks system and strengthened America's Navy.
Teddy as a real life cowboy in the Dakota Territories.
Teddy was kind and sympathetic to the downtrodden, but he also wouldn't hesitate to knock a guy out if he stepped out of line. He didn't show off how rich he was and never bragged about how many women he slept with or how much alcohol he could drink because he knew that's not what made him a man, what made him a man is something that is within reach to everyone: being accountable, being honest, respectful when necessary and brave when needed, being both merciful and just to all.
Even though it has been over 100 years since his death he can still be a guide for modern man. His bravery, honesty, resilience and kindness can serve as a standard for all men.
So next time you encounter yourself in a difficult situation ask yourself: What would Teddy do?