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You are soft

Updated: Sep 12, 2021

Look at your hands. What do you see? What do they look like? Let me take a guess: you see perfectly soft skin. You see brittle bones and well-kept fingernails. You see cleanliness, maybe a little bit too much. Hopefully you see some gym-induced callouses. But, most importantly, you see, all over your hands, the evidence of a life lived in comfort. Your hands are undeniable proof of their own lack of use. If you look down and don't see what I've just described, then you have my respect. You are one of the few men left that actually use their most powerful tool to build and create in the real, physical world, instead of using them exclusively to type and click. There aren't many men like you left. For the rest of us, our hands are a constant reminder of how physically incompetent we really are.

Manual labour

There was once a time when the world was raw and wild. Surrounded by danger and death, men were forced to use the only tool at their disposal to tame the wilderness: their hands. Men cut down trees, they carried all sorts of materials on their bare shoulders, with no support other than that which their own backs provided. This era of struggle rendered men strong and capable, and allowed mankind to build magnificent structures, buildings that were much more than simply functional: they were a testament to mankind's hard-earned ability of creating beauty and progress. These are the strong men that created the foundations of every comfort that we enjoy today. Their hands were strong and they could see, in the very scars and rugged skin of their fists the pride only possible through living a life of sacrifice and hard work.

Then came the era of machines, and men's hands lost some of the use once required of them. Still, men worked with their hands and were forced to develop the physical fortitude required to move and manipulate massive machines. Hard work was still required, but men were able to breathe a bit more freely and leave the heaviest jobs to their fellow machines. It was a sign of things to come.

Fast forward to today, and men's hands finally find themselses all but useless. The vast majority of the population uses their hands to push buttons and steer their cars, apart from other mundane tasks. There is no more manual labour, and as a consequence, there are no strong hands anymore. We've become a society of men uncapable of performing the simplest of tasks, delegating as much as we can to our precious computers, cellphones, and home appliances. No one carries a log anymore, no one builds a house with his hands. Maybe using machines is a more efficient way to build stuff, but efficiency comes with a cost as we forget the true value of hard work.

No more manual labour means eliminating the incredibly gratifying feeling of building and creating something valuable in the physical world through the use of your hands. Do we really want to let that go? I'm not so sure.

Maybe using machines is a more efficient way to build stuff, but efficiency comes with a cost as we forget the true value of hard work.

You are soft

At least much softer than your grandpa. I don't think many people could argue otherwise. Your hands are a testament of that. They show that you haven't done a hard day's work in your life. Neither have I. Not really. Mentally taxing corporate jobs are not hard, not in the true sense of the word. Yes, they require effort, but exclusively mental effort. No work that allows your body to atrophy from underuse is hard work in my book.

The proposal

Treasure and seek out every opportunity that you can that allows you to work with your hands. Not only is manual labour the most essential to providing for yourself and your family, it's also an activity that deeply connects you with your nature as a man. Modern jobs are unnatural. We were never meant to spend 8 hours a day sitting down in front of a screen. We were created to move, to carry, to slash, to fight, to build! Go outside, find a way to use your hands. Carry something heavy, exhaust yourself and start strengthening your hands. This way, maybe one day you'll look down and smile proudly at the sight of two hands that were put to good, honest use during a lifetime, instead of looking down in shame at the sight of pure softness.

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