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10 Skills Every Man Should Have
The definition of being a man has changed drastically over the centuries. From he who can kill the buffalo, to he who can afford the most slaves, to he who can afford the tickets on the 50-yard line. The following ten points are the most important skills a man can have to survive in modern society.
Attention to detail and knowledge of the game are vital in the ability to properly score a game. Knowing that a runner touching home scores a run is not enough. A man should be able to document in only a few letters, numbers, and symbols everything that he sees happen from the first pitch to the final out. You should also be able to explain why “BB” means walk.
This seemingly basic skill is often overlooked by those who never joined the Boy Scouts. The skill was fine-tuned centuries ago, but one can never be sure when he will have to provide a fire for warmth, to cook, or for sheer pleasure. Start with small dry twigs in the shape of a teepee, and slowly build up to larger pieces of wood. Don’t smother it, but don’t let too much air in.
Imagine waking up the day of an important meeting or interview, showering, getting dressed, and then not being able to tie the tie. The open collar look might work for some of us, but for most it will simply look sloppy. There are plenty of videos on youtube to help you out. Personally I use a little cheat-sheet given to my grandfather by a department store in the ‘50s. Some things just don’t change with time. Looking good is one of them. I recommend learning the “four in hand” method as it is the simplest – the adventurous might want to try a full windsor. Be sure to have a dimple in the tie (as is visible in the picture above).
Whether in the pool hall or a volleyball game at the company picnic, no one wants to lose. More importantly, no one wants to look like an idiot. As they say, you can’t win them all, but you can keep yourself from being embarrassed. A man should know the basic skills of every major sport, football, basketball, soccer, baseball, hockey, and various forms of non athletic games such as poker, pool, and fishing. Also, one should be able to explain the rules and basic skills of any of these competitions to any woman who asks.
Every man has been in this situation: On a date with a cute girl, when suddenly the car stops working. She looks at you with those wide eyes, assuming you know how to fix it. Surprise ladies, we are not all mechanics. However, a man should be able to change a tire, jump start a car, recognize any fluids in the car, and be able to get the car to someone who can fix it, while not showing weakness in front of his lady.
As a man, you have certain responsibilities to your friends. Possibly the most important one is to help him get laid. It may involve starting the conversation, or even distracting the less desirable friend. You should be able to accept anything short of long-term physical injury in order to help a buddy out. These acts should be rewarded for their bravery and must be re-paid.
A good conversation is almost an art form. The ability to be interesting and charismatic without dominating a conversation is a skill reserved for the real men amongst us. A man should have a good joke on hand, as well as a supported opinion of most current events, from the threat of Iran as a nuclear power to the Pacers’ need for a starting center.
CPR, the Heimlich maneuver, dressing cuts, scrapes, burns, and bruises, are all invaluable skills that could benefit you to know. It could mean the difference between life and death, or simply make you more comfortable. The possible importance of these skills can not be understated. Knowing these skills will also keep you from panicking if the situation should arise. It will keep everyone safer and can save lives.
As Clint Eastwood said in Gran Torino, “WD-40, a vice grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone”. Most household problems, from squeaky doors to dripping faucets, can be fixed easily by anyone with a clue. Fixing things by yourself will save you money and be more satisfying than calling in a professional.
Long gone are the days of hunting and gathering, where any food was considered good food. A real man should know his way around a kitchen and be able to cook a good meal now and again. When in the company of others, ramen and poptarts do not count. Check out some of our previous lists for some tips and ideas.