I have an opinionated 17-year-old son. I am probably not alone. But unlike many who lament how their kids don’t listen to them, or those who complain that kids nowadays think they know everything, I want to harness his headstrong nature for good. See, my son is a thinker. To paraphrase KRS-ONE, he thinks very deeply. We often tell our sons and daughters to be seen and not heard, but when they do that they often see the mess we’ve made of the world. Given how our generation has made a shambles of so many things, can young people be blamed for thinking that they should be in charge? That no matter what they do, it can’t be much worse than what we’ve done?
But I’m also experienced enough to know that being a deep thinker doesn’t automatically mean your conclusions will be correct. Aristotle was a smart man and a deep thinker, but he was wrong about the structure of the solar system. While driving him to work, Marshal and I discussed The G Code: Lessons for Living an Extraordinary Life in the Real World. It’s written by Gregory Santarsiero who is definitely not a household name. But as G Diesel, he’s a familiar name on
Universal Nutrition’s message board The Animal Forvm. G Diesel is a prolific writer who has challenged, exhorted and encouraged thousands with his blog, “Diary Of A Madman”. The G Code is both a play on his name, G Diesel and a nod to the unwritten rules that govern urban street life. Part autobiography, part blue-collar success manifesto with a dash of legacy building instruction.
Which is how it relates to this story. I bought The G Code and read it in one sitting. I thought enough of it to pass it on to my oldest son, James, who thought enough of it to pass it on to Marshal when he was done with it. Marshal, who is an indifferent reader at best, is one chapter in and already plans to get his own copy of the book to read and re read in the future. What’s the big deal?
In 65 pages, Santarsiero challenges you to examine and rethink your beliefs, motivations, work ethic and even habits. For example, in one essay, he points out the illogic of rushing to complete things that are important in your life, so you can rush home to watch NFL employees go through their assigned workflows on Sunday afternoon in hopes of out performing a rival business entity so they can motivate fans of their brand to spend more money on products licensed by their employer. Read that again and think about it.
I’m a thinker as well, or at least I like to believe I am; but I never looked at Sunday afternoon football from that perspective. Why am I putting my life and goals on hold to watch other men achieve their dreams week after week? Shouldn’t I pursue my dreams so that those men will be motivated to watch me achieve my goals as much as I want to watch them succeed? Read that sentence again too.
Marshal and I talked about many things in that 20 minute drive. From reading philosophy on the toilet and wrestling work ethic to Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations and the Manly Virtues versus being a virtuous man. We ended up with discussing how building a local support network à la House Atriedes in Frank Herbert’s Dune is the best approach to thriving financially in a West African business climate. Seriously. Twenty minutes.
That entire conversation was sparked by a 17-year-old reading the prologue and Chapter One of The G Code. That alone makes it worth the purchase price for me. I don’t know what it’ll do in your family but neither do you. I can say that this may well turn out to be The Iron Never Lies of this generation.
The G Code retails for $12 at gohardfilm.com. You should buy this book.
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