The Bristly Truth


I’m right at that point where the crazy itchiness is giving way to warm comfort.

I recently told one of my daughters that it was like a warm blanket was covering my chin. She didn’t understand. She thinks I should shave.

I’m doing a No-Shave November.

If you’re not familiar with it, that’s where men around the world go a month without shaving to highlight men’s health issues.

It would be a lie to say that was exactly what I was doing.

For one thing, I shaved this morning – but just those pesky hairs that pop up on my upper cheeks and earlobes. I know, weird, huh?

Also, I’m mainly using November as an excuse to see how my beard looks nowadays. I know it’s mostly grey and makes me look older. But I kinda like it.

I might just keep it. Stay tuned.

Don’t get me wrong, I think men’s health issues are important and if my not shaving reminds some men to get more proactive about their health, that’s great.

What I’m far more interested in is men’s mental and spiritual health.

We have become a society that measures its members by what people have rather than what they do.

There’s bumper sticker that says, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” It should say

“He who dies with the most toys dies.”

I read recently (in “The Men We Need” by Brant Hansen) about a Mouse Utopia. A social scientist set up an experiment where a group of mice were given everything they needed. They didn’t have to do anything to get food. Their enclosure was kept clean and safe. All they had to do was reproduce.

At first, they thrived. Then, they reached a peak population far below the capacity of their enclosure. The mice lost interest in everything, even reproduction. They turned violent, killing each other. Finally, the colony died off.

This happened over and over.

What went wrong?

The mice had no purpose. Their God-given instincts to find new food sources and struggle to survive were denied an outlet.

We’re not mice, but we have a God-given need for purpose.

In learning to write novels, one big thing I’ve learned is that there has to be a struggle or conflict or people will get bored and stop reading.

The same is true for people and especially men. We have been given a need to fight to survive and prosper. That includes working to support our families. But I believe it goes beyond that.

We have a need for a greater purpose – to make an impact on our world.

We have a tendency to try to fill that need with video games and sports. While there’s nothing wrong with those, they don’t do much for us. We need to make a real difference to feel fulfillment.

The bottom line is:


Step outside of your comfort zone and do something that will impact people outside of your normal sphere.

When you make an impact on this world, you’ll be amazed how much your efforts will impact you.

One thought on “The Bristly Truth

  1. Richard, thank you for this blog post. It really spoke to me and things I have been thinking about lately. I see so many people struggling mentally lately. In many of these situations, there is a common denominator.

    Liked by 1 person

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