We praise the idea of the “self-made man”, but is that a good thing?
A spirit of self-reliance takes a man’s affections and warps them inward. If he has money, it is HIS money because he worked for it. Therefore what he does with it is his decision alone and he will loathe the thought of anyone else’s fingers on his hard-earned currency.
If he has children, they are HIS children, whose purpose is to make him look good, to make his name great, to serve the cause of his ego by following his desires for their lives, not theirs.
If he has a wife, she is HIS woman, there to serve his wants and meet his needs. After all, did he not win her with his prowess, woo her with his charm? Does he not provide and pay for her needs by the work of his hands and the sweat of his brow?
This is the self-made man, who does not choose to remember the foundational truth of all gratefulness and humility.
Those hands are a gift.
That brow, even the ability to sweat are a gift.
That woman is a gift.
Those children are a gift.
Those opportunities to make money are gifts, as is even the capacity to enjoy any of it.
It is not just men, of course, but women also who fall into this trap of skewed perspective. The point is simply this.
The self-made man (or woman) does not acknowledge these things as gifts, and if he does not learn to, then it is only a matter of time before he becomes a self-unmade man, too.