First, I’d like to discuss why i started doing this series and why the title contains a question mark. The question mark is to convey that this is meant as a dialogue, not a lecture. I have no desire to create a fascist list of regulations and guidelines. Failure to strictly adhere to them will not make you a bad person or less of a man. I just feel that discussion of some of these characteristics could lead to overall improvement.
In media and the culture around us, I see various male archetypes that lack depth. I don’t necessarily agree that the musclebound, UFC obsessed, orange tanned, action hero, tough guy is really the best model to present to youth as what a man should be. I don’t think it’s a good image to present to boys any more than I think some of the Hollywood starlets are the best images to present to girls. I believe a little healthy conversation and introspection as a society could go a long ways in moving towards a healthier national community.
Or I’m an idealistic asshole who will eventually sit on his porch all day griping about the state of youth today.
Anywho… Part Three.
My father was a master’s electrician and all round handy dude. He could run a potter’s wheel and would develop photos in the bathtub. He turned wrenches, chopped wood, sailed boats and learned to make his own gourmet sausage. He was well read, self educated, and could take a punch and get right up to give one back.
I watched him grill steak under a tree in a thunderstorm, set my car on fire and try to put it out with a coffee cup, and once he was blown off the top of a telephone pole into a snowbank.
Ok. So he had some wins, and maybe some losses.
But he’s a super well rounded dude. My grandfather was the same way. Work in the garage. Cut meat at the base. Answer almost any question you had. Grow a mean squash. Pick his blueberries to make you an amazing blueberry syrup.
This is all important.
Being a man comes back around to the same old thing.
Massive skill acquirement.
Although steak is great, not everything needs to be meat and potatoes.
There is nothing wrong with developing an interest in various art forms. Swing a hammer. Delicately work clay.
Being good with your hands may translate well into other endeavors. But you won’t know until you open up and try them.
Try to educate yourself. No one expects you to break right into the dense tomes of scholarly pursuit. There will be no exams. But head on down to the library. Use them muscles to crack some spines. Exercise the old brain.
Seriously. Knowledge is an amazing thing to amass. It will make you more interesting at dinner parties. Less of a bore at home.
And if nothing else, Jeopardy is super fun to watch when you know answers.
So, round off them corners, square. Add some dimension.
Write only in bad cliches and cheesy one liners…. crap, that’s me.
But seriously, I really believe that a man who aspires to learn and develop himself more fully will in the end be a better man. Right?