Woven within the masculine spirit is the desire to produce. Men need to be productive in order to give their lives meaning and purpose. This is why some men spend time creating through writing, carving, or inventing. It is why other men spend time building things like tables, hot rods, or houses. This is why some men spend time growing gardens, raising animals, or planting trees. It is why other men spend time restoring old houses, antique furniture, or rusty cars.
Men need projects that are both fulfilling and rewarding. It is essential for men to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
We live in a culture where many jobs no longer offer men the opportunity to produce. There are numbers to be crunched and PowerPoint presentations to be put together, but real productive work is missing. This reality eats away at the spirit of a man. Men require productivity.
I think this is why I find my current job so heart numbing. Being a paraprofessional who helps special education students requires being a servant. It allows me to help and serve those who are on the lower rungs of society's ladder. What it doesn't allow for is for productivity. It is filled with repetition as I try to help the students grasp what is being taught, yet at the end of the day there is nothing to show for my work.
This is why it is so important for me to find outlets for productivity. These outlets for me are writing, carving, and gardening. Things that allow me to use my creativity, to get my hands dirty, and to see the fruits of my labor. These are things that help make me feel alive.
One of the calls that our culture, and the Church in particular, need to give to men is the call to harness their strength for good. Men need to be challenged to use their strength for some productive purpose. Think how much better our nation would be if men would take seriously the challenge to be productive with their lives.
The reality is that if men are not challenged to be productive, especially in areas that they are passionate about, then they will use their strength for destructive purposes. If their lives lack meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that productive work has to offer then they will see no reason respect the property or lives of other people. They will turn their sights to destructive endeavors.
If you find yourself lacking an appropriate outlet for productivity I would suggest that you pick up a hobby that will give you that opportunity. The Art of Manliness has a list of hobbies, many of which deal with productive pursuits, for you to choose from. Once you have a hobby look for ways for you to use that hobby to produce, create, or restore.
This activity of producing and using our creativity to bring about good in this world allows us to join God in His work of creating and restoring this world that we live in. We may not see this activity as important, in fact we might convince ourselves that it is just a luxury, but it is what we were created to do. Being productive is a spiritual activity, and it is essential for a man's life.