There is an old verse:
Good Times Create Weak Men, Weak Mean Create Hard Times, Hard Times Create Strong Men, and Strong Men Create Good Times.
In January, my girl wrote on the small chalkboard in our hallway by the back door. She proclaimed 2020 to be Clear Skies, Clear Sailing. She was making a play off 20/20 vision I suppose.
Nothing could have been further from the truth. In just two short months, we were looking at lockdowns, social distancing, and shortages. It wasn’t too much longer before we started to see cracks in society.
Mental health professionals are overwhelmed by an increase in Wuhan-related depression and anxiety. When humans are cut off from each other, we lose a bit of our humanity. Some can deal with it better than others.
Suicides, already a devastating statistic for men, have gone up as well.
We find ourselves smack dab in the middle of a huge societal crisis here in 2020.
I’ve been studying a book lately called The Fourth Turning. It was written back in the late 90’s by Strauss and Howe.
History Repeats Itself
Simply stated, history repeats itself in a 80-90 year pattern in four very phases (or turnings) each of which lasts roughly 20 years. These 20 year patterns also coincide with new generations, such as GI Generation, Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials,
These cycles are mapped back all the way to the War of Roses back in England when Henry Tudor secured the Tudor Dynasty by killing Richard III on the battlefield in 1485.
In our modern times, roughly 80 years ago was World War 2. 80 prior to that, the American Civil War, 80 prior to that, the American Revolution. It keeps going back, like I said every 80 years to the War of the Roses.
The Hero Generations
These generations that come along are in four categories and always repeat in the same order. The GI generation of WWII was a “Hero Generation”. The Generation proceeding a Hero generation is called a “Nomad Generation.”
If this fascinates you at all, you can click on this link to Howe’s website to explore more of these Generations and the 4 Turnings.
So my Generation X is considered a Nomad Generation. We were the latch key kids, the ones who had to fend for ourselves. Our parents were often too busy worrying about their own indulgences to be overly concerned with us.
Then as GenX became parents, we got a bit more strict with our Millennial children, over-protective to a degree. But it’s this next generation following the Nomads that becomes the Hero Generation.
Some of you just snorted coffee out your nose… Millennials as Heroes?
I say, hell yes.
One of the joys of being online with Twitter, 21Con, Fraternity of Excellence (FOE), Liminal Order, and my blog are my interactions with many rock solid men worldwide.
Well over half are Millennials and are Hero material if I’ve ever met one.
So what is going on right now that even makes me write about this?
Well for starters, we are very much in a Fourth Turning. This is also known as a Crisis Period. While Strauss and Howe predicted the Crisis would begin roughly in 2005 (back in 1998), the website now states they believe the initial crisis event was the financial banking crisis of 2008.
So, if these cycles last roughly 20 years, we are only in the middle.
And each of these Fourth Turnings ends with a major war. From that Fourth Turning war comes a period of peace and prosperity, a First Turning of the new 80 year cycle.
So where are we today?
Smack dab in the middle. None of us knows what is to come. These feelings of uncertainty lead to anxiety. Now add in some BLM riots. Add in some WuFlu. Add in some politicians flexing their newfound CV-19 power. Add in the vitriol of a presidential election cycle.
It’s utter chaos.
If you don’t have yourself squared away, all this noise can really eat at you.
One of the best things about getting your act together as a man is that you gain a confidence that no matter what comes your way, you’re simply going to adapt and overcome. You will figure out a way to handle it.
It’s one of the biggest things we preach and practice in FOE. Preparing ourselves for the unknown.
If you want to know more about the Fraternity of Excellence, click this link.
We are all trying to figure out what this next major war will be. A civil war? Heck, we are already seeing the Antifa types going up against police. Right versus Left. Conservative versus Communist. Are we in it right now?
Or are we looking at another major world war, such as the US versus China? Relations with China have taken a beating following their unleashing of this virus on the world, intentionally or foolishly as the case may be.
While GenX will issue the orders and make the plans for whatever crisis war is coming, it will be the Millennials who are going to fight it. They are the next Hero Generation. Efforts of all generations will hopefully get us to a new enlightened era. But it will be on the backs of Millennials.
What to do right now?
Get yourself squared away financially and physically. We’ve all seen what lack of preparation has looked like in 2020.
This Fourth Turning should last several more years. I’m really not being all doom and gloom here. I’m just saying we all recognize we are in the middle of a shitstorm, especially with the election coming up soon.
I’d be shocked if you didn’t feel, deep in your gut, that something is happening just out of your range.
I’m saying expect it to get worse before it gets better. You can only control you. But you need to start dialing it in now!
If you are feeling sad and depressed, anxious and exasperated, lean on your brothers for help but also don’t be afraid to reach out for professional help.
You are not alone.
It might feel that way, but we are all going through a lot of similar stuff. It’s time to prepare yourself in a positive way such that you are ready to handle whatever this crisis future throws at you.
It’s not hopeless. Life is not worthless. You are not defective junk.
My friend Jeff Putnum says “Everyone wants to rise from the ashes, but few are willing to set themselves on fire.”
Once you hit rock bottom, the only direction to go is up. There are men everywhere who will toss you a rope. It’s up to you to climb up.
Make that climb. The view from up here is amazing.
My email and Twitter DM’s are always open.