Today we finish out the chapter on Visionary Men. Text is in purple.
Mr. Visionary's Five L's
Listen: Be willing to stop your dreams long enough to hear your wife's concerns. At her urging, seek counsel from another man of wisdom-a Steady Man, but not another Visionary.
That's good advice. Men, listen to your wife! Though I disagree that one's wife has to urge her husband to seek counsel. I'm wondering where the self-regulation with these men are. Another thing that is bugging me is that Mr. Visionary is supposed to seek counsel from another man. Why not just listen to the counsel of his wife? Oh wait. This is Michael's book. Silly me, thinking women could have real insight or something.
Love: Love her and appreciate her at home and publicly She goes through a lot on your behalf, so she needs to know you truly recognize her sacrifice.
I have nothing to say here, except for "AMEN". That and, maybe throw in a pinch of respect with that love.
Laugh: Look back at some of your crazy ideas, dreams, and the schemes you once thought were so wonderful. When your sweetie hears you making light of your own past ideas she will breathe a sigh of relief, knowing you are maturing in your thinking.
While laughing at one's self is a good thing, on occasion, I don't think it would be that cathartic to a wife. My husband sometimes laughs at his past ideas (professional Magic the Gathering player, anyone?), and I laugh with him. But in the back of my head I'm wondering what and when his next grand idea will show up. Laughing about past ideas doesn't mean future ones will never be an issue. Hmmm. I just noticed something. Michael never encourages the wives to laugh along. I wonder why? Also, while maturing in thinking is nice, I think most wives would prefer some maturing of actions.
Labor: Labor in gainful employment even when you feel like dreaming. Life is not just fulfilling your dreams; it's about doing your duty. You must conquer your weakness and drive yourself to do as the breadwinner ought.
This is an important point. If a man is the type of person to tinker in a workshop while the family goes hungry, he should get a job. Though Michael's phrasing makes gainful employment sound right up there with a root canal. "Drive yourself to do as the breadwinner ought." It really sounds distasteful. If I were writing this book, I would have phrased it something like "An upside to getting a job is a new audience! Your co-workers have never heard your take on some ideas before. Just imagine being able to talk about your ideas with new people that may have insight to help your schemes succeed" Or something like that. Positive re-framing works better than drudgery-wording.Hey! Something I just realized. Apparently, in PearlWorld, Visionaries are either prophets/social changers, or lazy loungeabouts. Seriously. I find it odd how there is no middle ground, nor any thought that a man could be both.
Leave: Seriously consider moving far away from both sets of in-laws for the first year or two of your marriage, or at least until you and your honey are firmly made into one heart and mind. She doesn't need anyone pointing out how crazy your ideas are. She will see enough with her own eyes. If she doesn't have her parents or your parents reinforcing her fears, she will have a better chance of developing into a helpful mate.
Holy cow. Nevermind that moving in with someone is stressful, and the wife might need some support. Just "get her away!". And apparently Michael has never heard of a telephone or internet access, because that's how most people communicate now, regardless of the distance. I thought it was telling that the reason in-laws are bad is that they reinforce her fears. Why not have a section on how to alleviate the fears of a wife? Or how about teaching people when they are young to be self-sufficient and how to find gainful employment, that way once they're married, they are already doing that? Oooh, and that last line is bugging me. "She will have a better chance of developing into a helpful mate." Once again, no talk about supporting one's wife (except financially). It's like in PearlWorld the only purpose of a wife is to serve the man. And that makes me sad.
Mr. Visionary is not boring. Few would read a blog written by a Mr. Steady. Some might read one written by Mr. Command, but when Mr. Visionary has a blog everyone enjoys reading it because it is certain to be bizarre. Use your strengths and gifts cautiously. It is easy to take notoriety as a statement of being right.
There are not enough ways to say "pot calling the kettle black" to this paragraph. I'm half wondering if this is something Debi (or someone else) snuck in after Michael was done writing. If not, the sheer disconnect he has with previous things he's said, written, or done is staggering.
Wish List From the Ladies
- I wish he didn't misinterpret my motives. I mean him goodwill, but he takes my suggestions as a personal insult.
- I wish he would be more positive. His down-in-the-mouth attitude leaves the family defeated.
- I wish he would be more consistent in what he tells me. He tells me it's okay to do something, then gets mad because something else was set aside when I did what he told me I could do.
- I wish he would notice when I do something right. I try so hard to please him, but he forgets to ever say "thank you."
- I wish he wouldn't stare at pretty girls. It makes me feel old and ugly.
- I wish he was patient, more understanding, less critical.
- I wish he could make me feel more valuable and important to him than his friends, relatives, and hobbies.
- I wish he would spank the kids instead of yelling at them.
- I wish we could do fun things together.
- I wish he would stop being angry at the little things that happen.
- I wish he would give me time to think before he thinks aloud for me. When he asks me for input, I would like for him to actually consider it.
Here's a radical thought, Michael: why didn't you make this list a bigger part of your book? Since these are wishes of Visionary wives, why not help men understand their needs? And really, this "wish list" is heartbreaking, for a number of reasons. First, because the wives are writing to the Pearl's (of all people) for understanding and validation. It's sad that they can't just tell their husband flat out "Please stop checking out other girls in front of me, it really hurts my feelings." Second, because it sounds like all these wives want is to be respected, loved, appreciated, and treated like a person. Which is ironic, because Michael firmly insists that women only "need to be needed". Finally, Michael ends the chapter here, with no explanation or reasons why men should do anything on this list.
I grew up Mormon, and twice a year there was a big, televised church meeting called General Conference. Usually at GC, the LDS higher ups (Prophets, Apostles, etc) would talk. Every now and then, a woman would speak. Most of the men I knew would either tune out her message, get a drink, or leave the room, because they felt that what the women said wouldn't apply to them. I imagine Fundagelicial men are kind of the same, so wouldn't putting a woman's wish list (at the end of the chapter, even), kind of a lost cause? Because if the women are following Debi's book, their husbands will look at this list and say "Well, that's not what my wife wants. She never complains to me!" Sheesh.
Well, we're finally done with Mr. Visionary. Mr. Steady is up next. I'm really curious to read what Michael says about him, because I don't think he considers himself one...