I love observing life and society and everything around me. I am a student of life. In recent years (last ten to fifteen years or so), I have noticed that men are forgetting or maybe do not know or are unsure of what it means to be a Man anymore.
I have a few theories about how this has reached a growing and worrying societal problem now and for the future, but I won’t go in to that in this blog. No, I’m going to dance with the idea of what a Real Man is or should be.
What should the mark of a Real Man be?
Status in society? Richness in money? Accumulated financial wealth? Power? A tattoo, maybe? I’m sure you’ll have your opinion and definitions.
One word: GRIT.
I believe this is one characteristic of a Real Man. And a sub-set of this word Grit (along with resilience, unrelenting, solution-oriented etc), is simply “toughness”.
But it does not end there.
What is more important than toughness? It is exercising the RIGHT KIND of toughness. Anyone can be tough and we all are at various points in our lives but not many people can call on the right kind of toughness at the right time.
Now this takes skill, this takes effort and work and deliberate thinking and practise to get it right. Now, this characteristic is the foundation of a Real Man . It is the building blocks of what it means to be a Real Man.
It feeds in to his strength of character.
But that is only half of what a real man is.
The other fifty percent should be intimacy, gentleness. Don’t you think so?
Put together, you have what I refer to as a possible definition of a real man. He has an Arnold Schwarzenegger exterior (toughness) and a Tom Hanks (gentleness) interior.
How should we go about attaining these two qualities of a Real Man?
Well, I believe each man should strive for ‘balance’. Everything comes down to balance – internally and externally. So, every man should consciously strive for balance with both qualities.
Knowing when to be tough is as important as knowing when to be tender.
The wise man has the power of discernment and knows when to exercise either. The art in the dance through life is in developing this power of discernment towards balance.
Balance is achieved when a man stops trying to be someone else but the man that is truly reflected through the eyes he sees look back at him in the mirror. A man needs to just be himself and believe in the Holy Spirit or his inner-self, his Real Self and not be afraid to let him out. To let him be vulnerable.
The more vulnerable you become as a man through increased positive self-awareness, the more ‘Real’ you become. The closer you get to becoming more authentic, more of a Real Man.
A man cannot just choose Toughness and no tenderness or only choose to be gentle (and a gentleman) all the time and not be tough. No, this leads to confusion with his self and also with his woman and every person around him. Simply, because he is not clear on his role as a man and what it means to be a Real Man.
A Real Man is partly defined by having both these traits continuously intertwined in his daily life. At home and at work and play. It is a never-ending, dynamic complex fusion of chaos and order to produce something unique: the Real Man.
Being just tough results in a man being cold, distant, intolerant, unbearable and impatient. What we’ve all been brought up hearing society (mainly angry women) refer to “All Men are As#holes! “. Very unfair because not all men are like that.
But, being tough and tender brings about something different, something elusive. It makes a man appear closer to what I refer to as beauty.
And why do I say that?
Well, being tough AND tender … results in gentleness, thoughtfulness and being considerate. The man is more attuned to the principles of nature which is harmony.
Being tough and tender brings you closer to the elusive balance and symmetry of life. Brings you closer to what I refer to as ‘beauty’. I love formulas and mathematics so here is a little formula for you, based on my hypothesis of what a Real Man is:
So, all you men reading this, ask yourself if you can be beautiful. If you strive towards balance and symmetry in these two strengths of character – toughness and tenderness, you run the risk of being referred to as a ‘beautiful man’.
And why not, the word beautiful should not only be reserved for women, cars, sculptures and paintings and flowers. No, men too can be beautiful.
Being referred to as beautiful is worth the risk because I believe a beautiful man is a Real Man.
Work on your beauty and not be just a “Gentle-man” or “Tough-man”, no, work towards being a Beautiful-Man.
A Beautiful Man is A Real Man!
Until next time,
Ahoy, G’day and Ni Sa Bula Vinaka! (Fijian for “a very good hello”, pronounced – “nee sah mboolah veenarkah”
The old Captain Viking Pirate Fiji Island – born, Mind-Muscle Monk