Developing Self-Reliance: Film from 1951

I’m a big fan of old educational films. Sure, they’re pretty cheesy, but I like how earnest the filmmakers were at trying to help young people improve themselves.

This video lays out why a young man should develop self-reliance and gives four principles on how to do it:

1) Assume Responsibility

2) Be Informed

3) Know Where You’re Going

4) Make Your Own Decisions

I wish more young men would watch this video. I get emails all the time from guys asking me to tell them exactly what they should do with their lives. I’ve even had guys ask me what toothbrush they should get. There’s nothing wrong with seeking advice and input, but in the end, these are choices a man has to make on his own.

Hat tip to Caitlin for sharing this video with us.


{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

John January 10, 2012 at 7:55 pm

“There’s nothing wrong with seeking advice and input, but in the end, these are choices a man has to make on his own.”

Well said!

Brian January 10, 2012 at 8:45 pm

I’m glad they mentioned Emerson’s essay in the video. If they didn’t, I was going to. Worth its weight in gold.

Jesse January 11, 2012 at 1:42 am

I’ve saved a copy of the essay in my favorites folder. Thanks for the video.

Guy January 11, 2012 at 9:51 am

Timelessness, timeliness and well said.

Pete January 11, 2012 at 1:37 pm

“If you rely on others to do everything for you, you’ll do anything more than just get by…”

This film should be shown in every public school in America.

Brenden January 11, 2012 at 5:56 pm

This video is excellent, especially for teens and young adults. @Pete I agree and here in a Canada as well.

Bill M January 12, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Every young man should have a mentor like the gent in the clip. ..My formative years were aimless at best. … Lucky to survive with my man card intact.

Christian Buckler January 17, 2012 at 8:46 pm

This really deserves a post on the main blog. Self-Reliance is one of the qualities most lacking in my generation, and I’ll be the first to admit it.

Bill Maxwell January 20, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Wow what an excellent resource. Cheesy or not, the message is crystal clear and timeless. Every kid should watch it. As an aside, I loved the respect Alan shows to the parents of a girl he knows when he wears a tie on the offchance he will meet them.

TimJ January 29, 2012 at 5:41 pm

I have the privilege of being the caretaker of the Ralph Waldo Emerson house. When I took on the position I re-read Self Reliance (and some Thoreau too, given how much time he spent around this place). Writings like these are the ballast to the ship of my life helping to keep me on the right course when I’m starting to lose my way.

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