Many years ago, I wrote this song as a tribute to the veterans who served our country.
When this song was recorded at a live concert, our drummer was Chris Stavish, a Marine Corps Vet.
The song has a lot of meaning to me, as I’ve had many members of my family and many friends who served our country, and I just wanted to talk about their heroism, and their desire to come home to “American Sand”
by Josh Hatcher
I’ve been fighting in this desert for way too long And I’m starting to feel forgotten but I know I got be strong Cuz I want to make it back home… back to my own land I wanna pick up a fistful of American Sand. When I get off that plane I’m gonna fall down and kiss the dirt Of this land that gave me freedom long before it gave me birth
I can’t wait to get back to American Sand I’m going home when this war is over to American Sand.
Back home I’ve got a family. A wife and a couple kids How I long to see their faces. To give my wife a kiss. Cuz everything I’ve got’s in a America and I ache to get it back This foreign soil is empty and hope is looking black This kid I’ve known since Basic just died the other day And just before it happened, I heard him say.
I can’t wait to get back to American Sand I’m going home when this war is over to American Sand.
Some say we should be here… fighting someone else’s war. And it’s their right to say it that I’m fighting for But all this bickering on the homefront over whether we are right Doesn’t help me at this moment. Doesn’t help me win this fight. I’ve seen things in battle that keep me up at night The only thing I hold on to – that gets me through the night Is American Sand —
I can’t wait to get back to American Sand I’m going home when this war is over to American Sand.
Fight Club is a monthly live panel discussion moderated by Josh Hatcher in his living room with several other men
This episode features: Josh Hatcher Dan Karrasch Dwayne Edgar Abe Hatcher
In this second installment of Fight Club, Josh Hatcher, Dan Karrasch, Dwayne Edgar, and Abe Hatcher talk about the reason young people do stupid things like cooking chicken in Nyquil (a “trend” similar to the Tide Pod Challenge).
The group also talks about young people who “identify as” feline, or who crave a mental health diagnosis in order to feel belonging and acceptance.
They talk about how each of us longs for belonging, and how we need to understand our identity.
There are plenty of side discussions about politics, faith, and brotherhood. Make sure to tune in.
Today, September 30, is International Podcast Day! Today at Manlihood, we thought it would be a great opportunity to celebrate our podcast for men.
International Podcast Day™ is September 30th and is an international celebration of the power of podcasts.
In 2004, Adam Curry and Dave Winer were credited for the invention of podcasting. It wasn’t until Ben Hammersly wrote about the online audio shows in the Guardian newspaper that the term “podcasting” was coined.
It’s been almost 20 years since then, and we now have 2.4 million podcasts with 66 million episodes globally. There are more podcasts than anyone could ever listen to!
Blogs centered around personal development for men have been around for quite awhile, but one of the more earth-shaking moments in the manosphere was the birth of The Art of Manliness Podcast in 2009.
In 2013, I sent an email to a handful of men that I respected, and pitched an idea. I wanted to make a website to equip, educate, entertain, and engage men to be better husbands, fathers, and leaders. The men had some great feedback. My hope was that I had just created a superhero team to build this crazy thing, only to find out, that most of them never really got involved.
At first, I was dissapointed, but one of them told me, “Josh, this is YOUR thing. We’re behind you, and we support you. But this is YOUR dream. YOU are the guy that needs to do it.”
And so I did.
My first real job was at WFRM Radio in Coudersport, PA at 14 years old. I was running the board for Pittsburgh Pirates games, DJ’ing and announcing on Saturday mornings, recording commercials, and having the time of my life. I went to college for communications, with a broadcasting specialty, spinning plenty of Christian records on the campus radio station. I went on to work at a few more radio stations, as a news director, a DJ, a talk show-host.
Way before all of that, I used to play with a tape recorder, making my own DJ’d mix tapes. Most people hate the sound of their own voice when they hear it played back. I’ve been listening to mine for so long, I’m usually not bothered by how I sound, and I’ve developed the voice and production skills to be able to use it to make a living at various points in my life.
The Birth of the Manlihood ManCast
I always knew I wanted to build the blog into a podcast. But I hesitated for a long time. Part of me was afraid that I was going to be sending it out into the void. Why would anyone listen? Why invest the time, energy, and emotion into something for 20 people?
After listening to other podcasts, I kept telling myself- You can do that. You have all of the skills, the knowledge, the wisdom to create that.
But it was hard to pull the trigger. Self-doubt kept plaguing me.
I was stuck in this place where I knew I could start it, but I didn’t want to fail. I wasn’t quite ready, I didn’t know what would work, or what listeners wanted to hear. I had a plan, but it was just ideas and lots of scrawled notes in a journal, and nothing concrete.
I had a conversation online with Ryan Michler, and he said, “Start before you are ready.”
And that wisdom made a lot of sense. Just do it, and you can work out the details later. You can fix what isn’t working when you actually do something other than thinking and dreaming.
So we decided to get started by recycling some of our blog content into episodes. If you scroll back on your podcast app to the earliest episodes, you’ll see that the Manlihood ManCast then definitely isn’t what it is now! But I started.
Podcasting is important to me. This is the entrance into people’s hearts and minds as I do the mission I’ve been called to do.
What is it that drives Manlihood? Our Purpose, Mission, Vision, and Values.
Because the world needs men to lead in their families and communities, and because so many men have struggled to understand their value, Manlihood exists to help men become better men.
The Manlihood Mission is to Educate, Equip, and Entertain Men in an Engaging Way.
The Manlihood vision is to create resources to educate and equip men, to foster a thriving community of men, where bonds of brotherhood and accountability form. We seek to help men be better fathers, husbands, leaders, friends. We want to build through Manlihood a financially sustainable architecture that can support itself, but also to incubate ideas and opportunities from within the Manlihood community that support our purpose and mission.
Integrity and Honor matter.
Personal Responsibility matters. (If it is to be, it’s up to me.)
Men thrive and grow in community and brotherhood with each other.
Truth is everywhere. Wisdom knows how to pick it out.
Men should value and respect women. (People should respect people.)
Perseverance, Self-control and Self-discipline are sacred and essential.
Words are powerful, and how we use them matters.
Leadership is steeped in influence and responsibility. (Everyone is a leader, and everyone should embrace and nurture that role.)
Men. If you listen to the narrative that is being slowly woven into the cultural landscape, you’ll hear that you don’t matter. That your masculinity is irrelevant and unnecessary.
I need you to hear me clearly.
YOU ARE NEEDED NOW MORE THAN EVER.
In your DNA is a hard-coded desire to lead, to create, to fight, to provide, to give and receive honor.
We need to boldly reject the notion that these tenets of masculinity are cultural.
Certainly, there are cultural norms and expectations. And our constantly churning sense of cultural values has muddied that for us. It looks like a smoothie made with creek water.
But there is an innate desire in the bones of a man – to seek virtue, to lead, to love, to conquer, to adventure, to solve, to improve ourselves and those around us. (Surely, some of these things are in women, too.)
Men are dangerous.
While I love the Jordan Peterson discussion about “good men are dangerous” – I’m speaking about something different here. Men are dangerous to folks who want to rule with nefarious intent. Men are dangerous to systems that want to oppress. Men are dangerous to political and philosophical systems that enslave people. Why? Because men crave justice.
I believe that what has happened in our culture is an intentional attempt to make men feel useless, to beat down the innate courage and resistance of men, and replace it with docile compliance or at least with fattened, numbed, porn’d, and dissolutioned men who don’t step up and do what is in their very nature today.
We are not victims here.
While I’m clearly painting a picture of a villainous entity, I can’t exactly give that entity a name. It’s not just one philosophy or strategy (it’s easy to blame Marxism or “woke-ism”).
I think there are certainly outside forces that want men to be weak and docile.
I also think the bigger enemy is our own apathy… Our own discouragement.
If we were truly at war with Marxism and Woke-ism (or whatever other philosophy or force), we really have already lost.
No, we are at war with our own indifference.
It’s time to rise up.
We start by taking responsibility – which is the first pillar of manhood.
The world won’t change until I change.
Wake up, you sleepers.
Let’s show the world what a good man looks like.
Let’s show our families what an engaged and loving father looks like.
Let’s show our wives what a dedicated and committed husband looks like.
Let’s show our neighborhoods what a good neighbor looks like.
Let’s show the father-less what a good father looks like.
That’s what changes the world.
Dedicated men, willing to fight off their own temptations, their own demons, and willing to lead and love and serve.
After dating for some time, throwing a reception, exchanging your vows and finally getting married, you think it’s going to last forever. Alas, marriage is a fragile and sometimes ephemeral thing. Every man has his forte, and dealing with a divorce might not be the one thing you’re particularly good at. You know that sometimes it’s rather difficult to deal with your feelings, and it gets unimaginably difficult when you add another person’s rollercoaster of emotions to the equation. However, there are a few things you should have in mind that could help you with accepting the whole process and going through it. Here they are.
The past is in the past
When you invest a lot of time and energy into your marriage, and it breaks at one point, it’s normal to start remembering all the wonderful moments you’ve been through together. Nevertheless, you can’t let yourself be stuck in the past, as it won’t help your current situation one tiny bit. You have to be bent on getting the best you can out of it. Think about moving to a place you’ve always wanted to live at, invest some more time into your hobbies, friends, travel someplace new, anything that will positively affect your well-being. It takes time to process everything and remember who you were before your marriage, so try to turn the situation in your favour.
Engage with your kids
If you have kids, you should be reminded that the whole divorce might be taking a heavier toll on them that it is on you. Men tend to be reserved when it comes to opening up and talking about emotions, but you should take a different approach in order to play your role as a father. If you act your part, spend time with them, stay calm and be honest about what’s going on, this exposure to divorce shouldn’t be as difficult as it normally can be. With the help of family lawyers in Sydney, your divorce can go smoothly, and this swift process helps the kids handle the whole situation better. That’s why you should be cooperative and reasonable, which will speed up the process and make it easier for everyone involved.
Be respectful until the end
We all keep some of our emotions under our hats, but there is a limit for a healthy amount of that. If you’ve been repressing a lot of them over many years, divorce might be a stimulus to let them all out. It’s certainly a natural reaction to be angry, bewildered, irritated, and annoyed, but you should be careful as to how you’re releasing those feelings out into the world. Don’t go belittling your spouse, calling her names, or calling her out for something she did. Also, try to keep her private life a secret and forget about revenge or anything of that sort. Mutual respect is a life-saver.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Along the way, many triggers are bound to pop up, and you have to learn to cope with them. Some places, people, or everyday things around you will remind you of your spouse and it could cause all of the previously-experienced emotions to surge out once again. If you feel that you’re not doing well at those instances, think about going to therapy or reading self-help books. As little as a friendly conversation with your dear ones can also go a long way into making you feel better. Things get better over time, but you have to be patient when everything gets dark and gloomy, as that’s an integral part of a divorce.
Some things in life can’t be controlled or changed, and everything that’s left at those moments is to learn to accept and adapt to them. Try to slow down with rebounds and a hectic lifestyle that you might regret later, and make sure to slowly start establishing a new life. A post-divorce life is filled with numerous challenges, and the most important thing is to take care of your well-being and work on setting your new life on the right course.
In this episode of the Manlihood ManCast, Josh Hatcher talks about being RESOLUTE – making resolutions in the New Year that stick.
Make a Lifelong Resolution
Take some time this week to identify an area of your life that needs to change.
Your relationship with your spouse, your parenting skills, your work habits, launching a new career as a writer, becoming a more positive person – whatever it is that needs to change in your life.
And start meditating on what it means to change it permanently.
You don’t have to be stuck at a job you hate for the rest of your life. You don’t have to walk on eggshells because you are afraid your wife is going to leave you. You don’t have to be afraid about your kids making bad choices. You don’t have to be fat, or tired all of the time. All of those things can be fixed – but all of those things will require you to change. And change doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t happen just because you say it will.
It starts with aligning your head and your heart with your destination, and it finishes when you fulfill your commitment. If you want to lose weight, you can lose it – but if you don’t commit to changes for the rest of your life you’re going to be in the same place you are now. You can resolve to be a better husband, but if you fall back into the same patterns of behavior, you’ll find yourself in the doghouse again.
It’s not just about changing behavior, it’s about changing your lifestyle.
That starts in your mind, and flows out from there – but change requires commitment, or you will always return to your old self by default.
Don’t be Swayed
Can you be defined as bold?
Can you be defined as steady?
When people see your life, do they see you as waffling, indecisive, and wavering?
In some ways it doesn’t matter what others think of you, and what their judgments are – but other times, your reputation is a good indicator of your character! Surround yourself with men who will challenge you and ask you the hard questions. Ask them if they see you as bold, steady, determined, resolute.
While we’re often talking about behavior changes, it’s important to note that bad behavior, overeating, mouthing off, addictions, etc. are the visible manifestations of an inner issue. You can try to change those things all you want, but these external problems stem from an internal one.
Resolving to change is not enough. You actually have to change. And that starts with changing the way you think.
I’ve found that I often need reminders to stay on track. A piece of jewelry, an item in my pocket, a post it note on my workstation or refridgerator that encourages me to stay the course can really give me a little push in in the right direction when I start to stray, or start to get weary of keeping my commitment.
Positive reinforcement is great, but sometimes you need a little negative reinforcement. Even something as simple as a rubber band, snapped against the wrist when my mind starts to want the thing that I shouldn’t have helps me associate that pleasure-able thing with pain, and while at first, many little red-skinned wrist snaps were uncomfortable, I find myself thinking less and less in the wrong direction.
In order to avoid being swayed from your path, you have to internalize the decision to change. You have to change the way you think. And that is really the hardest part.
What steps can you take to change your thinking?
Change your Mind
Remember those commercials for the NAACP that used to say, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste” ?
Those words have often haunted and sung in my head, because they highlight the value of the human mind. But they don’t even come close to describing the power of it.
I know that may sound like metaphysical mumbo-jumbo, but truth sometimes can sound a bit strange. Especially ancient truth.
The word “mindset” breaks down to imply that the mind is fixed like concrete or glue…. Hardened in the way that it thinks. And this perspective really helps us understand how to succeed and how to accomplish what it is we are meant to do. When we SET our mind on improving some area of our life – we will improve. Especially if we reinforce that concrete as often as we can with continual reminders of our destination.
What is a mindset? It’s simply what you think about, and how you think about it. Before we can talk about developing a healthy mindset, we need to talk about how you got your unhealthy mindset, and why it is unhealthy.
From the time you were born, you’ve heard lies about yourself and the world around you. If you hear a lie enough times, you start to believe that it’s true. If you tell yourself that you can’t lose weight – will you lose weight? If you tell yourself that you are worthless, will you ever find self-worth?
The first step in correcting your mindset involves the choice to identify and root out the lies about your situation. Identify the un-truth, call it like it is – and then move on to the next step, which is to identify the truth.
The truth is you CAN do it. The truth is you do have value.The truth is you ARE an addict in need of recovery. The truth is you have treated your wife like crap. The truth is you can change.
Identify the truth, good or bad, and then determine what changes need to be made in your lifestyle as you strive to chase that truth. If the truth is bad, focus on the corrective result that you want to see. “I’m an alcoholic, but I will kick this habit.” “I’m a crappy husband, but I will choose to be a better one.”
Cultivating that mindset means kicking out thoughts, daydreams, and internal dialogue if it goes against the positive direction that you want to go. Thoughts sometimes swirl around and get you off track, and it’s up to you to kick it out. How do you kick it out? It simply starts with telling it to go. Outloud if you have to. “Get out of my head. I am not stupid. I will pass this exam.”
You must also kick out the external voices that are holding you back. If your spouse is berating your attempts to improve, tell her that you need her support. If you are listening to music or watching television or movies that reinforce the bad habits or ideas, toss them out.
Changing your mind is not instant, nor is it simple. It take the discipline to “take captive every thought.” Whenever a thought comes into your head – take the time to evaluate it and file it appropriately. Is it positive, encouraging, true, motivating, brutally honest? Is it weak, passive, negative, destructive, dishonest?
You know which ones are good. Put the good ones in the right place – and kick the bad thoughts out.
Changing your mind also takes education. Read, attend seminars, classes, and groups to enrich and enlarge your mind. If you want to see change, you have to be properly equipped.
Replace Your Addictions with Habits
Probably the most common resolutions are “Quitting Smoking,” “Losing Weight,” or “Getting Healthy.” These resolutions, along with others, like getting sober, quitting drugs, and many others are in response to addictions.
Psychology Today defines addiction this way:
Addiction is a condition that results when a person ingests a substance (e.g., alcohol, cocaine, nicotine) or engages in an activity (e.g., gambling, sex, shopping) that can be pleasurable but the continued use/act of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work, relationships, or health. Users may not be aware that their behavior is out of control and causing problems for themselves and others.
There are a number of different ways that we deal with addiction: We often trade one addiction for another. That’s why smokers who quit often gain weight…
There are so many facets to treating addiction, and getting to the root of the problem that we can’t get into here. I’m no expert, and even the experts have a variety of opinions on it. If you find yourself in need of more help, consult an expert.
In the meantime though, and especially in dealing with the smaller more manageable addictions – I can offer some advice.
Replace those addictions with good habits.
If you normally reach for a sugar soda to quench your thirst, replace it with ice water!
If you are addicted to caffeine, (by the way – the first three days of that addiction are the hardest!) Replace the need for a boost of energy with a quick burst of exercise or stretching! (My wife sells essential oils – I’ve found that a quick whiff of peppermint oil actually gives me almost the same boost of caffeine!)
Trying to quit smoking? If you are taking the smoke breaks out of your life, you have to replace them with something else that is GOOD for you.
Get together with your brothers-in-arms and talk about the addictions you need to cast off. Ask for advice, ask for accountability. Be honest with them about the struggles, and about the process. It may not be instant – sometimes screwing up is part of the process!
Men and Women are different in many aspects of life, and money is no exception. From the way one acquires funds to the spending habits to keeping savings – differences abound. If you think that may not be the case, here are some numbers for you:
Around 31% of American men are thinking about dipping into their retirement funds when the need arises, as opposed to 23% of women.
Only 14% of men would consider downsizing their lifestyle in tough times, opposed to 25% of women.
Men also tend to carry more debt with higher mortgages than women. They also have a higher chance of being late with the mortgage payment.
From these few snippets, it seems that men are prone to risky behavior with their funds. In today’s uncertain economic climate and with the pandemic threatening a variety of jobs, it may be wise to handle money with care. Here are some tips on how to handle your finances in a meaningful way:
Change your mindset
It is not about having enough for food and clothes. You need to change the way you think about money and what it means to you. Be sure to know who you are and what you want to accomplish with money. Focus on positive aspects of life – there are always some. Also, try to visualize the best version of yourself and act upon it.
Create and maintain an emergency fund
If you have not done so already, plan and start creating your emergency fund. All it takes are small steps. Put aside a couple of bucks each day, and it will yield a thousand or more after a year. Also, do not dip into it unless it’s an emergency. Set it up so that it’s not easy to get money from it; that way, you’ll avoid unnecessary spending.
Stop comparing yourself to others
It is nice when we can show our friends how successful we are – with a brand-new car or a larger house. What’s not so great is overspending so much that your signs of success make your budget suffer. Practice living within your means. Don’t let showing off lead you into financial troubles – it’s not worth it.
Do your research
Before you embark on a journey to invest in something important, like a flat or car, do research. Explore all the possibilities and write down the pros and cons of every possible way you can finance your idea. If you are thinking about getting a new vehicle, look for several deals on car loans. Do not take the first one you find – compare them all and see which gives the most value for the buck.
Pay with cash
Today’s economy seems as if it all turned into virtual earnings and spending. Even so, you should still rely on good, hard cash. It gives you a sense of control, unlike a plastic card that seems to have unlimited money. You also get in physical contact with spending and it makes you value your hard-earned cash more.
Track your spending
It is not only the big expenses that influence your budget. The little things often add up. Start tracking your spending, even to the tiniest amount. The idea is to have a clear vision of your expenses and where your money goes. It also helps you get in touch with spending habits that are bad for your budget.
Focus on passive income
If you have a place for rent, you can boost your finances with it. Have an idea for a book or similar artistic product? It also becomes a source of money. It does not have to be a physical thing. Online courses and subscription services can be a great source of passive income, especially with people spending more time indoors.
I tell people frequently that this isn’t a Christian blog. I’m a Christian though – and I find deep meaning in the teachings of Jesus. I never want anyone to think I’m forcing religion on them, but I do want people to think about the truths that are in the Bible – because no matter what you believe about it – there really is great truth in those pages.
One of these truths involves plucking out eyeballs.
Matthew 18: 7Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come! 8If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. 9And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.
The truth here is this… if we are committed to be better men – there are things we must stop doing. Mindsets we must change, behaviors we must modify.
Some of those things are easy to stop- others take extreme action. If you want to stop a behaviour, you need to do whatever it takes to stop it.
Most people that want to quit drinking, for example, aren’t willing to pour all the booze in the house down the drain, aren’t willing to stop hanging out in social situations with drinking, and aren’t willing to get checked in and get professional help. So they often don’t stop drinking.
Most people that want to stop looking at porn aren’t willing to change the way they use their computers, to install accountability software, to talk to their wife about it, or to sell their smartphone and get a flip phone.
Most people who need to lose weight aren’t willing to stop eating pizza everyday, to put in countless hours of exercise, and to make drastic lifestyle changes.
If we want to defeat our bad behavior – we have to take extreme and drastic changes… the “plucking of the eyeballs” or the “cutting off of the hand.”
In this episode of the Manlihood ManCast, Josh Hatcher talks about some dark, creepy, and gross things. There’s light, even in the darkness!
Testicles are gross. When you really think about how they work, they’re awesome, and they are gross. All you have to do is imagine Anthony Bourdain as he travels around the world, and inevitably, someone will serve him a dish of testicles from some native species, and he always says, “It tastes like balls. They always taste the same.”
We often describe someone with GUTS or GRIT as having “intestinal fortitude”-
I like to joke that someone with BALLS has “testicular fortitude.”
Let’s explore that. First of all, I’ve known women with more testicular fortitude than you can imagine – so I don’t mean to identify courage, strength, and honor solely with masculine specific parts, but I want to emphasize that there should be a correlation to having ACTUAL testicles and having BALLS.
I always thought that my brother had the most testicular fortitude of anyone that I knew. The kid was fearless. I watched him surf down a hill of crumbling shale on a big chunk of flagstone. It flipped over and took a chunk out of his hand. He bled and cried a bit, but it was worth it to have that kind of adventure. Another time he got in a bicycle accident that ended up with him getting hit in the testicles. The doctor told him not to ride his bike for awhile. That night, after icing down his sore gonads, he climbed to the top of the swingset and started walking it like a tightrope.
That was his behavior as a kid – he does show a little more responsibility as an adult, but he certainly hasn’t suffered from any “shrinkage” of testicular fortitude.
Questions to ask the modern man
Why is it that we settle for lives of comfort and safety?
Why do we NOT say or do the things that should be said or done?
Why are we content to watch adventures on television, or to play adventures on playstations instead of having the real thing?
Should we be okay with expecting other people to protect us, and not preparing to protect ourselves?
Why do we minimize risk and then complain about the little return that we receive?
We are men in need of testicular fortitude.
Are you NOT a man of courage? Do you feel you DON’T have the balls you need? It starts by making a goal for yourself, and then doing it. Courage is a muscle – and you have to exercise it.
Start by picking something that you didn’t think you could do – and then just do it.
A few weeks ago – I walked 15 miles in one day…. something I never thought I could do!
Maybe it’s an adventure sport, or just an adventure!
Maybe it’s a fitness goal – or asking a girl on a date.
Just start building that courage by taking small steps until those steps get bigger and bigger and build confidence.