I love life.
Being an avid student of life, I think a lot about life and it’s definitions and prevailing beliefs and belief systems, on all levels.
I think every individual should have a continuously questioning curiosity to everything in life, which includes their existing beliefs and values and everything else. A questioning attitude just like scientists have had and use in their reasoning.
I ask again what it means to be a man?
I’ll say it again, it can be difficult to be a man in today’s world. I believe he is torn between two hands. Let me elaborate. You see, every man – every male strives to meet his basic psychological needs.
“And what are these?” I hear you say.
Well, firstly, I believe it is simply to know and be known. If we keep it simple, in addition to this, every man needs to love and be loved.
He also needs other very important psychological needs. By “other”, I believe men need deep caring relationships with other men. If I recall correctly, I think it was one of the disciples (James I think) who said christians should be encouraged to confess their sins to each other and pray for each other … or somewhere along these lines.
What does this mean for us?
Well, I believe it means that every man should have another man who would have their back. What this boils down to is that a man who does not have at least one other man to whom he can be accountable regarding his failures, hurts and temptations is a prime target for masculine anger.
You witness evidence of this erupting in almost all areas of our society – in families, in schools, in workplaces, in communities, in countries and between nations.
The angry man in our society is caught between an unrealistic ideal brain-washed in to him by previous generations. That is all they knew. They knew no better.
Today’s men strive to live up to this “unrealistic mythical masculinity ideal or stereotype” on the one hand and true masculinity on the other.
He feels the pressure to –
And in a lot of cases, do all these things on his own. Do it at all costs. Costs to his health, his relationships, his family, his community of friends.
… just to live up to these unrealistic expectations society places on him of outdated stereotypes of what it means to be a ‘real man’. But every man has a vulnerable side. Every man is a Mr Vulnerable too where he also feels the need to love and to nurture those he loves and be loved and nurtured by those who loves him.
But this is an impossible ideal. An impossible dream. As he, today’s Real Man futilely attempts to reconcile the two in his own life. He is torn between being invincible and vulnerable, aloof and involved, self-serving and sharing.
He is torn between two hands.
The roots of this conflict send up numerous shoots of anger-producing tendencies in his life.
Anger tendencies that can be dangerous for the man, the people around him, the community he lives in and the nation as a whole.
Men should not be made to feel ‘torn between two hands’. Men should not be made to be torn between these two ideals. Men should not feel they should travel alone. Men should also welcome the vulnerable side of him. Men should accept that sharing this responsibility is one of the best ways to move forward in the direction of a new definition of what it means to be a Real Man in today’s world.
It is not fair on the man and not fair on those he loves. I feel very blessed that the woman who chose me to spend the rest of her life with allows me to be vulnerable. It is “Mother’s Day” today and she is the most amazing woman I have ever met in my life so far. My children are very blessed to have her as their mother. She is my co-captain on our ship through the sea of life.
For the women reading this, please try and listen to your man, really listen. Listen with your two ears, your body, your spirit and your heart. Help him be Mr Vulnerable too, if you’re not already doing so.
And for the man, embrace your Mr Vulnerable. It does not make you less of a man. I believe it makes you more of what it means to be a Real Man. Today’s definition of a modern-day Real Man, what true masculinity really is.
It is one of the most important gifts you can give the little men (our sons) of the future. The young men we entrust to lead and make decisions when we are old and grey and when we are gone and forgotten.
Do it for the future of Man-kind.
Until next time,