During World War I, in the winter of 1914, on the battlefields of Flanders, one of the most unusual events in all of human history took place. The Germans had been in a fierce battle with the British and French. Both sides were dug in, safe in muddy, man-made trenches six to eight feet deep that seemed to stretch forever.
All of a sudden, German troops began to put small Christmas trees, lit with candles, outside of their trenches. Then, they began to sing songs. Across the way, in the “no man’s land” between them, came songs from the British and French troops. Incredibly, many of the Germans, who had worked in England before the war, were able to speak good enough English to propose a “Christmas” truce.
The British and French troops, all along the miles of trenches, accepted. In a few places, allied troops fired at the Germans as they climbed out of their trenches. But the Germans were persistent and Christmas would be celebrated even under the threat of impending death.
According to Stanley Weintraub, who wrote about this event in his book, Silent Night, “signboards arose up and down the trenches in a variety of shapes. They were usually in English, or – from the Germans – in fractured English. Rightly, the Germans assumed that the other side could not read traditional gothic lettering, and that few English understood spoken German. ‘YOU NO FIGHT, WE NO FIGHT’ was the most
frequently employed German message. Some British units improvised ‘MERRY CHRISTMAS’ banners and waited for a response. More placards on both sides popped up.”
A spontaneous truce resulted. Soldiers left their trenches, meeting in the middle to shake hands. The first order of business was to bury the dead who had been previously unreachable because of the conflict. Then, they exchanged gifts. Chocolate cake, cognac, postcards, newspapers, tobacco. In a few places, along the trenches, soldiers exchanged rifles for soccer balls and began to play games.
It didn’t last forever. In fact, some of the generals didn’t like it at all and commanded their troops to resume shooting at each other. After all, they were in a war. Soldiers eventually did resume shooting at each other. But only after, in a number of cases, a few days of wasting rounds of ammunition shooting at stars in the sky instead of soldiers in the opposing army across the field.
For a few precious moments there was peace on earth good will toward men.
By George P.H.
When you’re a boy, it’s alright to do kid things. That’s what our childhood and teenage years are for.
But with each passing year, the line between “boy” and “man” is becoming blurred. We’re taking longer to move out, find steady jobs and get married. We delay the responsibilities of manhood to enjoy ourselves for longer.
This is fantastic. It’s great that we’re making the most of our lives, exploring all available options and challenging the status quo. But all these things only have value if you do them as a man – not as a boy.
Below are 5 ways to know you’re not a real man (yet). If any of them apply to you, make some changes to your life and start living with strength, dignity and manliness. It’s the best decision you’ll ever make.
1. You Blame
I was late to work because my stupid car wouldn’t start.
We went snowboarding last winter but the snowstorm ruined everything.
I hate my job; my boss always makes me run little errands for him, ugh.
I hear people say things like these every day, and I feel deeply confused each time. When did it become so acceptable to blame other people, random events and even inanimate objects for everything that’s wrong?
Everything you do in life is a personal choice. Even when forces beyond your control are at work, the way you react to them is 100% on you.
Late to work? Apologize and fix your car (or get a bus pass).
Snowstorm during your vacation? Find ways to have a good time, shit happens.
Don’t like getting coffee for your boss? Get a new job.
That’s it. If you don’t like something, either remove it from your life or find a way to accept it.
It’s fine to blame others when you’re a child. You don’t know much about life and, when things go wrong, it often is somebody else’s fault.
As a grown-ass man, you don’t have that kind of luxury. Everything you do is your personal choice and responsibility. Blame might make you feel better for a short while but is ultimately useless.