by Aletha cross posted from her blog Yllom Mormon
We just finished up the section on Mr. Visionary. Today we get to start learning about Mr. Steady. I’m curious about this chapter, because Michael claims he is Visionary and Command, so it will be interesting to see his take on men that aren’t like him.
Text is in purple
Visionary, Steady, Command
God the Son is as steady as an eternal rock, caring, providing, and faithful in his ministry as a priest. He created many men in his priestly image. They are the backbone of society, the middle ground that keeps the world moving on a steady course. They are not given to extremes. We are calling them STEADY MEN. Everyone feels comfortable with Mr. Steady. Down South, he is called a “good ole’ boy”. Up North, they call him a taxpayer-or, more accurately, hardhat worker, farmer, repairman, maintenance man, and the endless line of white collar workers filling the cubicles.
I’ve lived up north (New England, even), and I’ve never heard anybody called a “hardhat worker”. And the only people who refer to other people as “taxpayers” are politicians. I wonder sometimes where Michael gets his material and sources.
The Steady man doesn’t jump up and change occupations in midlife, and he is not consumed with revolutionary ideas. He is constant and reliable, minding his own business, not taking chances with his money. He is the one who begins accumulating savings and maintains a growing account all of his life, or for forty years works at the same place, anticipating his retirement and medical benefits. He avoids controversy. He is not a tornado or a hurricane like the Visionary; he is a constant tide, predictable. And like the tide, he is in the majority. He will build the factory and manage the assembly line that utilizes the robot Mr. Visionary designed and in the end he will know more about it than the guy who designed it, making practical suggestions that will improve the next generation of robots.
I have no idea what Bible Michael reads from, but mine seems to contradict his version of Steady Jesus. Jesus stopped being a carpenter midlife to preach, teach, and heal. For his time, Jesus was full of revolutionary ideas. In fact, here is a great article about Jesus being a revolutionary. Some of his revolutionary ideas: caring for the poor and the widows, loving neighbours (which means love everyone, regardless of race or religion), taking a whip to the sellers in the temple, claiming he was the Son of God, healing on the Sabbath. And those are just what I can think of off the top of my head. In fact, I would venture that the reason Jesus and Christianity have been around for 2000 or so years is because he was such a whirlwind of different ideas. One could argue the most famous thing about him was his death. He was killed BECAUSE of his revolutionary ideas. If he were the Steady Man Michael claims, he probably would have lived a long life working as a carpenter in a small village.
The Steady Man does not organise political movements. He does not make speeches at town hall meetings. He will not tackle a bank robber or attempt to rescue hostages unless led by a Command Man. He would never lead a revolution against government or the church. He will quietly ignore hypocrisy in others. He will selflessly fight the wars that Mr. Visionary starts and Mr. Command leads. He builds the skyscrapers and the interstate highways, grows the wheat and corn, attends church, and peacefully raises his family. He is the one who buys the row house and lives at the same address for the rest of his life. His family may think he is an old fogy and boring, but he is greatly loved.
Here we see again, Michael has no understanding of who the Bible says Jesus was. The Roman government wanted him dead because of his political statements. He may not have made a speech at a town hall, but Jesus did speak to 5000 on a hill. He attacked those who were profaning the temple by selling animals there. Christians maintain that Jesus “rescued” all of mankind by his sacrifice. I suppose Michael would argue that he was led by God the Command Man, but still…Oh. Here’s my favourite line. “He would never lead a revolution against the church.” Really, Michael? And you call yourself a Christian? Where does he think Christians come from?
And let’s see what Jesus himself says about hypocrisy. Luke 6:41 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own?” Or Matthew 23:13 “Woe unto you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice the son of hell as you are.” Jesus is often called a “leader of men.” He commanded others to quit their jobs and follow him, and they did.
I’m having a hard time with this section, because it seems like Michael is flat out ignoring who Jesus was. Which I find really odd, because he claims to have studied the Bible for the last 60 or so years.
Young women are generally not excited by the Steady Man, but as they grow older they come to appreciate the peace and safety he provides. For that reason the Steady Man is the one most likely to remain married to the same woman. Divorcees usually leave a radical Visionary or an overbearing Command Man looking for a Mr. Steady, but he is rarely available except where a foolish woman seeking excitement leaves him, looking for more romance. This man is content with the wife of his youth. But it is often the case that the wife of his youth is not so content with her Steady Man. She desires to see more spontaneity or spirituality or aggression, so she grows critical.
It really seems that Michael is blaming divorce on the woman. Either she leaves her radical Visionary, or she hightails it away from her overbearing Command Man, or wants more from her marriage than a Steady guy. It’s like he’s saying the only reason people divorce is because the wife is unhappy. Not because people married young, and inexperienced, and found out they were incompatible. Not because of failure to communicate, or have needs met. Nope. Just those darn ungrateful womenz wanting what they don’t have.
Though I will say, as someone married to a partial Mr. Steady, sometimes I do get grumpy and want more spontaneity or romance. The solution, though, is for me to say “Hey, honey? It really means a lot to me when you give me notes, or bring me presents, or take me on a date. I need to feel like I am important and that you love me.” And he usually says “Oh, I’m sorry. It has been awhile since I’ve done something like that, huh?” Once again, Michael refuses to acknowledge that communication can solve problems.
A Steady Man’s progress will be marked by slow, steady growth. If a Steady Man is poor, he either accepts his poverty and learns to serve others with what he has, or he faints with hopelessness and lives without vision; whereas a Visionary may wildly succeed and then lose everything on a venture, only to get up and fight another round. Or the Visionary grows bitter and blames others for his failures, but the Steady Man keeps his own council and finds little occasion to blame others.
When we were first married, we had a situation like this. He had a job where he wasn’t making much money. I was in school at the time, and couldn’t work and balance my class load. We were really poor. Something needed to change, because I needed insurance. (The $$$ for mental illness adds up!) So we talked over our situation, and came up with a solution: he would get a few certifications, and start looking for a better job. I suppose if I were the type of wife PearlWorld encourages, I would have sat on my hands and not said a word. But because I spoke up, and helped him, we are in a better situation now. Not everything has to be so black and white; either Mr. Steady does nothing, or gets hopeless. And it is perfectly fine for a wife to talk about her concerns!
Down South, a good number of the Steady Men are named Bubba and everybody likes them. They will stop work and talk with you for an hour, never seeming rushed or anxious. If you interrupt a Visionary at work, you will have to talk to his back side. He has “important things to do”. If you interrupt a Command Man, he will put you to work after explaining exactly how the job is to be done.
Now I am really impressed with the foresight of all those Bubba’s parents! How did they know right when he was born that he would be a Steady Man? According to the 2000 census, fewer than 1535 people were legally named Bubba. Yes, Bubba could be a nickname, but it does seem that Michael is over-inflating here. And why this point, I wonder? Does he think it’s relevant or important to tell us that Bubba is Steady? I also don’t understand how a man that is OK with working the same job for 40 years is OK with stopping work for an hour, just to chat. I would think, from what Michael had written in the previous chapter, Mr. Visionary would be more inclined to talk: about his upcoming projects, his ideas on politics, his latest invention.
I’m really starting to wonder if Michael re-reads what he writes and checks for contradictions or logical fallacies. It often seems like he just writes whatever’s in his head, regardless of what he said 14 pages ago.
I’m super excited about the next post. Because Michael spends 4 long paragraphs talking about a woman’s period, without ever using the word “period”. I promise it will be great fun. And by that, I can assure you that you will want to facepalm.