Man should be vulnerable.
He should be like Hugh Glass wrestling with a ferocious, bloodthirsty bear. He should feel every scratch and bloodied gash — and still survive. He should not escape, he should not win with ease, he should keep going. The commonalities of life are not so treacherous, but the attitude should thrive.
In dialogues on man and his resilience, the desultory hope that vulnerability is to be avoided produces the least shatter-proof of individuals. Their strength is measured in absolutes, and thus, one fracture is all it takes for their entire surface to break into pieces.
There is denial to the delusion, obscuring an essential truth; to be human is to be vulnerable. There is no magical salve for withstanding the entirety of existence, and superior minds long made their peace with the unreasonable calamity of breathing. No soul gets a free ride on this mortal carousel.
A man per the necessity of his biological means should be bold and assertive, like a battleship at sea, with an engine for purpose and the ordnance to match. His weathered hull has seen conflict, his course is open to the bracing breeze; exposed to the potential of damage, not permanently residing in dry-dock, fearful of a tremulous wave.
The willingness to be vulnerable produces vital conditions to relate, offering a foundation for meaningful relationships. There is nothing wilfully flawed about order, thus approaching the world to mitigate vulnerability produces in itself a form of inner disorder; walls built around fears, presented as castles to the outside world, with the drawbridge permanently raised and no glass elevator.
It is not a mark of fragility to be vulnerable, as it means that you are open to all that might transpire, be it threat, or intimacy. It has little comment on your toughness but a willingness to take the punches life throws. The immune system that never gets sick, never develops resistances. He who does not explore with freedom in his early years is ripe for the mercurial punishment of living.
A man should never demonstrate fragility — because this is a position of inarguable weakness; the confession itself an exclamation of futility. He is perfectly reasonable to be vulnerable, if he wishes to lead a life of unbound emotion, courage and commitment, and not to sell his pursuit of safety as a strategic masterstroke. The mimicry of statecraft is cowardice masquerading as nobility.
“As long as you can still grab a breath, you fight. You breathe…keep breathing.” – Hugh Glass
The frontiersman does not for a second think about evading life, or avoiding its suffocating capriciousness. He does not suggest a veneer of untarnished masculinity, nor invincibility whispered in the dark. He implores man to fight, whether he is armoured, or on the brink of death, or even under the strain of debt, with two kids and a mortgage.
The vulnerable that expose themselves with fortitude thrive, because nobody can surprise them with their nature.