Very often in these societies what constitutes a man and a woman are clearly defined roles, but in our societies today they are not. Too often we want to measure manhood by some quantifiable amount of testosterone, bravery, or physical strength but we fail to see what truly makes him a man. Don’t get me wrong; women like a sense of safety but that could be when in his arms or walking down the street, financial security, or simply being able to trust him in their relationship. As we see though, there is variety in so many aspects of manhood and differ by situations and relationships.
So if there is so many differences can there be any consistent aspects of manhood that exists today? It’s hard to say, but I’ve been lucky enough to see living examples in my friends and family. Even in the warrior tribal sense honor has always been associated with being a man. Honor can be described as honesty, respect, and integrity. Honesty is a complex idea, not every man who lies is dishonest and those who tell the truth can at times be far from honest.
I’ve seen a good man sin
I’ve seen a tough man cry
I’ve seen a loser win
And a sad man grin
I heard an honest man lie”
In honesty we must connect it to integrity, the sad thing is that today words like integrity are not even discussed. It comes down to who you are as a person, you can have all the other characteristics of a man, but if you lack integrity you fail at what makes you a decent human.
Respect is what makes a man, respect for oneself, your family, and women. I know that we live in modern times with modern women and that not every woman is a good woman but the point still stands. I was raised to treat women and elders with respect, yet we seem to be living in a time where the exact opposite of this has become mainstream pop culture. Respect for ladies should not just stop at your mother and sisters, but treating them with the respect and dignity they deserve. Even if you don’t agree with this idea, we live in a society that if you can’t follow this, you end up looking shameful not her.
Humility, a woman likes a man with confidence but there is a difference between having confidence and being arrogant. Only in our own humility are we able to be sympathetic to others and see them at the very least as equals. I have had a very good life so far, but in the same sense I have come from humble beginnings, my parents had to work for things in life, not everything was a given. At the same time there are always those who have it worse, and understanding this concept will allow you to be a man and reach back to help those in need.
A man carries himself in a proper manner, and acts in such as well. We must not confuse a gentleman as someone who carries some sort of social standing, but instead as the behavior in which he conducts himself. A man can keep his cool in hot-tempered situations, understands humility and never boasts, and shows his respect by not being one to badmouth or undermine others. Being a man is putting these characteristics into practice.
Morality and ethics, without them you fail as a person, but more so than that it is having virtue. In being ethical you do the right thing, you let your morals guide you other than emotions or desires. This is not limited to just yourself, but preserving others virtue, including that of a woman’s. This may be the most challenging but it is also one of the most defining characteristics and often the most noted upon.
Responsibility, any boy can create a child but it takes a man to be there for his family. One thing that I learned from the man that raised me, my father, is responsibility. I do not try to be everyone’s friend and I realize that not everyone will like me no matter how much I try. What matters to me, at the end of the day is that when all is said and done, even if they don’t like me they can depend on me. That they know if they called me that I would be there for them. Now I am not in the business of trying to be used, but if I were truly needed I would be there for them.
Intelligence, I am not saying that you have to be smart to be a man, and I’m sure many women would happily agree with this. There is a difference between what is smart and what is intelligent. Why would intelligence have anything to do with a man, because it provides substance, problem-solving skills, and abilities that are required of you as a man.
A man is not defined by the role he plays with his significant other, because if you are not a man as you stand on your own, then even with that person you never truly were a man. A man faces his problems and deals with issues straightforward, that is why so often it is referred to as “to man up.” No one is perfect and I can admit where I have stumbled and in some cases fallen, but as long as you continue to strive for such is what in the end really makes you a man. Point being, The difference between men and boys are the lessons they learn. If all else fails or if we fail individually we must take these lessons and apply them.
When you are with a woman that blesses you with her love because the love a good woman is a gift to cherish .. you give of that which is alive in you; you give of your joy, your interest, of your understanding, of your knowledge, of your humor, of or your sadness — of all expressions and manifestations of that which is alive in you. In thus giving of his life, you enrich her, you enhance her sense of aliveness by enhancing his own sense of aliveness. You do not give in order to receive; giving is in itself exquisite joy. But in giving you cannot help bringing something to life in the other person, and this which is brought to life reflects back to you.
A real man is a woman’s best friend. He will never stand her up and never let her down. He will reassure her when she feels insecure and comfort her after a bad day. He will inspire her to do things she never thought she could do; to live without fear and forget regret. He will enable her to express her deepest emotions and give in to her most intimate desires. He will make sure she always feels as though she’s the most beautiful woman in the room and will enable her to be the most confident, sexy, seductive, invincible…. No wait… I’m thinking of alcohol. Now if I only drank. 🙂
If by Rudyard Kipling
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!