For those that don’t know Neil runs the site ThisDadDoes where he writes about masculinity and reclaiming fatherhood. Neil often talks about what fatherhood has come to mean in modern times and how it’s mocked. Neil has a traditional masculine outlook while avoiding the naivety of many who also share a traditional outlook. Neil is aware of the modern challenges of our age and how a father can best fight against them. A Father’s Mission is Neil’s first book and it focuses on what a father’s goal is and how to become a good father.
Neil talks about in the introduction how being a good father is no easy task and will require hardwork. He talks about how one key aspect of being a good father is developing yourself as a man. To be a good leader and strong father you must first be a strong man. Neil lays out “6 Pillars for Strong Fatherhood in our Modern Times” which are a father’s mission, mental strength, spirituality and self-control, the knowledge, the outdoors, fitness and physical health. Don’t worry if some of these aren’t clear to you yet Neil goes in depth explaining all of them and how to apply them in your own life.
The Mantle Of Fatherhood
Becoming a father is a big responsibility and is something that will always be part of you according to Neil. When you become a father you are entrusted with the care and upbringing of your child, you are given a mission. You are the guardian of the future. Many treat fatherhood as something to be taken lightly or even mocked. However Neil lays out that fatherhood is the most important task that many men will ever perform and it’s fundamental for how future societies end up. A father has a huge impact on his child for better or for worse.
As a matter of fact a child’s relationship with his or her father is one of the number one determinants how healthy a child will grow up mentally and physically. You must take the role of father seriously as it is a role with large responsibilities. Neil also talks about the importance of having a vision of fatherhood meaning “You have an idea in your mind of the kind of children you want to raise. You make it your mission to bring them in that way, no matter the personal cost to yourself.”. How you child ends up is largely up to you.
The Feminization Of Fatherhood
Strong fit fathers are the bedrock of any civilization. Which is exactly why they are targeted above all else. Neil talks about the feminization of fatherhood and how fathers have gone from being the center of civic life to something to be mocked and ridiculed. Single mothers are held up as the epitome of…well everything. And the father is seen as a deadbeat or buffon. This has been done intentionally and has dire consequences for the future. Like I mentioned above and Neil makes crystal clear in his book a strong father is the number one determinant of how a child ends up.
However this attack on fatherhood also has to do with modern dads who are more concerned with being entertained (whether it’s porn, games (video or sports), and the like then they are being a leader and father. Neil also talks about in this chapter how simply being outraged isn’t the answer and does nothing. To use a hackneyed quote “You must be the change you want to see in the world”. Fathers must become strong and be the examples that their sons can model and their daughters will look for in a mate.
Building A “Dad Network”
Communion between men is a very important thing. Too many times I see guys who get married and suddenly no one ever sees them any more. Their wife keeps her friends and connections but the man often becomes an island of sorts. Whether it’s because the woman doesn’t want him hanging around with his friends (a red flag if I ever saw one) or just because he gets caught up in other things. This is not a healthy position for a man to be in. Men need networks and dads are no exceptions. Neil describes a dad network as “A Dad Network is a community of likeminded Dads who challenge each other to be better in all areas of life.”.
You need other men around you, as Neil describes even Navy SEALs have a team. Neil talks about the many different places to meet dads for your group and how to go about starting one. No man is an island and having dads that you can look up to and learn from as well as dads that you can help lead down the path is valuable and important. Don’t understimate how important it is to have like minded men around you, a “tribe” that can help you stay on your path, keep you accountable, and push you to be better and that you can do the same for.
Mountain, Memories, & My Father
There is something soothing, healing, and uplifting about the outdoors to a man’s soul. Cities and suburbs seem to have a unique soul crushing effect on men that they don’t have on women. Neil describes hiking through mountains since he was young and how the experience changed as he got older. When he was very young he dreaded it but as he aged he began to feel a connection with the rugged landscape. Neil also talks about hiking the same trails and climbing the same mountains that his father did years before and how it connected them.
Going outside and into nature with my father and grandfathers are still some of my most important memories from childhood. There’s nothing like nature to forge a boy into a man or bond father and son together. As Neil describes “Now when I head to the hills that sense of spiritual awe remains but there is something else: I’m walking in the footsteps of my Dad. It’s the closest we’ll get to walking these routes together.”. Now Neil plans on sharing this legacy with his son, bonding all three generations together in a way.
A Father’s Mission
A Father’s Mission is a great book that has many timeless lessons for all men. Neil also covers other important topics in depth such as giving up pornography and why it’s important for dads to do so, the importance of religion and spirituality in a dad’s life (something I think is great undervalued in the “red pill” space), and how to build a book collection. He also talks about finding time to read even with young kids as well as the importance that applied knowledge has in a dad’s life.
The single biggest gift you could give to a son or daughter to grow up to be successful, happy, and healthy is that of a strong father. Weak men and damaged women generally come from families where the father role was not done right or at all. Being a father is one of the most important tasks a man will be given in this lifetime, treat it as such.