Brave, Honest, and Generous

By | July 24, 2019

[July 24, 2019] Over the past few weeks, I had the opportunity to speak with several young men who are combat veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I was impressed with their energy and positive outlook on life. What I came away was the thought of how brave, honest, and generous these men showed to me and other community leaders.

These conversations and my recent week camping out with Boy Scout got me to thinking about personal traits that are most valued. I regularly write about bravery and honesty and why these characteristics are so desirable. Less so, I also have written about generosity (one good article link here).

“In a time of domestic crisis, men of goodwill and generosity should be able to unite regardless of party or politics.” – John F. Kennedy, 35th president of the United States

Friday night, I was listening on my car radio to a Q&A by a psychologist from one of those elite colleges in the Northeast U.S., when he said something that stuck in my mind. Sorry, but I don’t remember the psychologist’s name (I was in my car driving home around midnight). He said that men and leaders are most valued for being brave, honest, and generous. Click! Masculinity and leadership mean being brave, honest, and generous and are not a bunch of mean, brutish, sex offenders; as some would have us believe.

Each of these three traits is included in the U.S. Army’s values1, the Boy Scout Law2, and extensively throughout the Bible and as well as current and past philosophical texts. A university professor friend of mine, who I spoke to about this idea, said he thinks these traits are valued because they are pragmatic and the historical literature, as he reads it, supports such an argument.

Women can also be brave, honest, and generous. It seems to me, however, that these traits are closely associated with being a leader while being nurturing, sensitive, and tolerant is seen as more feminine. And, these psychological characteristics are stronger than we might realize.3

Leadership can be learned just as easily by anyone who has the motivation to do so. That is why I have this leadership blog; to teach, entertain, and draw attention to the basic elements of leadership.

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  1. https://www.army.mil/values/
  2. http://www.usscouts.org/advance/boyscout/bsoathlaw.asp
  3. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/8992639/Men-and-women-have-distinct-personalities.html
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Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

22 thoughts on “Brave, Honest, and Generous

  1. Anita

    Excellent article and I liked the JFK quote too.

  2. Joe Omerrod

    I see below that Lynn commented on the inevitable violence that will result in an attempt to change human nature. This is true and will be a big problem for some time to come. How this plays out over the long-run will be written about in the future as a time of upheaval; just like the 1960s in the USA.

    1. Joe the Aussie

      ….. and here too in Australia. Cheers!

    2. Gil Johnson

      And as in England and else where. Good comment, Joe.

  3. JT Patterson

    These traits of manhood have been around since the beginning of humankind. I don’t think there will be any big changes. Some crazies may want to make changes but you cannot change the dynamics of humans overnight.

    1. Yusaf from Texas

      I agree. Many believe people are born a “blank slate” and thus can be changed just by social engineering. The problem is that this is only partly true and ignores the innateness in us all.

      1. Lady Hawk

        Thanks Yusaf and good insight to the problem. We are not a blank slate and humans never have been. The early teachings of psychology were wrong about this (or maybe we just misinterpreted what they taught us).

    2. Lynn Pitts

      This is why there will be violence. You already see it in the streets of countries like the US, Venezuela, China, and Germany. More is to come. Humans are not easily changed.

  4. Max Foster

    I think that most Western societies (I don’t know about the rest to comment) are going thru a transition of some kind that has to do with redefining our values. Perhaps part of it is explained by the decline of religion which has the pragmatic function of holding people together as a mainstream set of values and stories about how to be a good person. Whatever the final outcome, the process will take time and will be a rough spot in our history.

    1. Harry B. Donner

      Good analysis, Max. The problem with “liberals” or whatever they are called today is that their value system is constantly evolving. No one knows what it will be tomorrow. Values are now a fad that changes with the wind.

      1. Eric Coda

        Harry, excellent point and something that should not be ignored. Just watch a little tv and see what the Democrat contenders for the presidency have to say and look at what they’ve said just a few years ago. Interesting.

    2. Xerxes I

      An interesting take that as a valid point. I agree, also. Once we’ve moved beyond the gross ignorance, future generations will look back and say “where were the leaders?” Yep, and they will be right to ask that question.

      1. Forrest Gump

        Yep, they will be saying “stupid is as stupid did.”

  5. Army Captain

    This is something that is being downplayed wherever you go. Masculinity has many positive traits, just like womanhood. But to try to say masculinity is toxic, is not just wrong but also, ultimately, destructive.

    1. Nick Lighthouse

      Yes. Leftists in the country have become ‘haters’ of anything that they see as being against their own beliefs (which change daily because they are relativists). I see this in the “squad” formed by four freshmen congresswomen in the US congress. They are inexperienced, uneducated in the world, and nasty. They are certainly not good representatives of women in America.

      1. Gil Johnson

        Nick, this is so true. Thanks for getting to the point quickly.

      2. Scotty Bush

        I laughed when I read you comment Nick because I’d just said the same thing to my wife. She thinks the same way as we do.

      3. Nick Lighthouse

        Thanks guys for your support and kind words.

  6. Janna Faulkner

    Spot-on comment about how bravery, honesty, and generosity are qualities of manhood. The progressives are trying hide this fact.

    1. Dennis Mathes

      I agree Janna. Men and women are different. Go figure!

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