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Americans have become so anxious that a new industry is emerging: “anxiety consumerism.”

Fidget spinners, weighted blankets, adult coloring books, aromatherapy, essential oils, etc.

Nothing wrong with these products per se. Entrepreneurship is all about finding what people want and giving it to them. But the fact that this even exists as a viable business opportunity is telling of our culture.

Some of the reasons the “talking heads” have come up with include:

  • phones
  • Donald Trump
  • climate change
  • the recession
  • FOMO
  • divorce
  • social media
  • student debt
  • terrorism
  • the 24-hour news cycle
  • the economy
  • living farther from family
  • toxins in your gut
  • too many choices
  • too little sleep
  • too little sex

Those all may be plausible. But I think the media is unwilling/unable to admit the root cause:

The loss of masculine virtues.

We are facing a time of great change. People want to rely on institutions to direct us: school, media, church.

But these institutions are unable to provide meaningful answers in a chaotic world. The success of these institutions has largely depended on resisting change rather than embracing it.

School does not teach us how to navigate life. It teaches us how to follow orders. But what happens when the rewards for compliance disappear?

The mainstream media does not help us find meaning in life. It tells us what to be afraid of and what to buy.

Church does not answer people’s most personal questions. It tells us what questions to ask and then gives the answer.

And so it is that each individual is left to navigate a world of chaos on their own.

The ones who will survive and thrive?

Men with courage to face uncertainty and risk.

Men with strength to endure difficult times.

Men with skill who can navigate life on their own.

And the women and children who are joined with such a man.