Cutting the Hype: Being a Male or a Man

Anyone born with certain anatomy is deemed a male, and at a certain age the male is deemed a man. Not so fast, my friend. There are many old males that never reached manhood, as well as many young boys who became men before they should have been forced to be. For years society has displayed manhood in the wrong light. Allow me to clarify:

  • Being a man is not how much cash you carry or the cool car you drive, it is placing your financial needs last and your family’s needs first.
  • Being a man is not how many women you can bed, it understanding the real measurement is not at your penis but your heart.
  • Being a man is not how fast you can ride a bike or sprint a 5k, it is the ability and willingness to run to the aid of those who need you and being there day or night for your family.
  • Being a man is not berating your children in sports when they mess up or don’t perform well, it is loving and supporting them and showing them how to get over the slumps.
  • Being a man is not displayed by how vulgar your mouth can be, but it is using words as a vehicle of precise understanding that encourages and builds and explains.
  • Being a man is not finding a way out of work, but it is embracing work as a means to accomplish important things in life and demonstrate a strong work ethic to your children.
  • Being a man is noticing the beauty in life and being man enough to point it out to someone.
  • Being a man is not being devoid of emotion, but it is displaying the correct emotion at the appropriate time to improve or calm a situation.
  • Being a man is demonstrating such love and devotion to your family that their sense of protection is secure by your actions and words.
  • Being a man is staying mentally, physically, and spiritually sharp so that you can accomplish your given duties without placing the burden on others.
  • Being a man is not whining when things don’t go your way and definitely not placing the blame on others.
  • Being a man is not talking about what you accomplished in high school sports. It is about what you are accomplishing today.

It is not easy being a real man. Any idiot can father a child. Any idiot can buy a “cool” car. Any idiot can intimidate his family with brutality and degrading remarks. But it takes dedication and focus to be a man. Rudyard Kipling wrote it best:

If—

If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
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