Finding the “man” in manly … August 4, 2012

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Macho. I got very weary of that particular profile early on in life. Watching a bunch of young guys strut through a shower room naked while other, more humble participants huddled against their lockers to hide their more private moments  quickly cured me of any notion that manliness is equated with physical attributes. Yet merely objecting to an overabundance of testosterone, or “showing off the guns” in some sort of prideful pose is not enough to establish what truly being a man is all about.

It is not up to women to define manliness. Women are just as confused on the issue as are their male counterparts. They gyrate between wanting to be dominated and looking for a sensitive fellow who at least understands why Thelma and Louise decided to go off the edge of the Grand Canyon. Candidly, one of the worst ways to evaluate your manliness is to try to use women as a determination for your value and prowess.

I’ve just come to the conclusion that there are two attributes that make up what is involved in maintaining the integrity of the “man side” of our species, and they both begin with the letters m-a-n: (1) Manners; (2) Manifest.

By manners I am not referring merely to the ability to discern the difference between a salad and dinner fork or where to place your napkin while dining. That particular style of awareness is really an off-shoot of a mindset rather than a learned activity–because you can teach your children to be mannerly, but as soon as they leap into a corral of over-zealous “guys,” they will immediately abandon that particular training and situate themselves right in the middle of what is deemed acceptable in the bull pen.

What I am referring to by manners is the abiding outlook that a man has on the world around him. For I believe the doorway to being mannerly, courtly, respecting others and giving place to the human beings around you is to possess a steadfast, unwavering commitment to the idea that “NoOne is better than anyone else.”

The minute you believe that by some right of birth or genetic tendency or even locale that you have gained some sort of supremacy over another fellow-traveler, you will eventually succumb to obnoxious behavior, self-righteousness and whatever prejudice has become ingrained in the environment around you. Don’t be fooled. If a man thinks that he is better than a gentleman of another race, he will just as surely believe in his supremacy over women. Any man who believes that Americans are better than Chinese will have no trouble whatsoever making the maneuver to the preference of one skin color over another.

Once prejudice has found a home in your heart, how you treat other passers-by will be contingent on whether your first viewing of them is favorable or casts them in a dimmer light. I have never met a male chauvinist who is not also bigoted racially, and I have never met a racial bigot who thinks a woman is capable of doing equal work to a man.

If you want to build a man you must first place deep within his soul the conviction that “NoOne is better than anyone else.” It will cause him to give respect to those who serve him instead of treating them like common servants. It will cause him to give place to a woman without needing to become effeminate himself. It creates a knowledge deep within him that since God is no respecter of persons, then any attempt we make to differentiate one body from another is merely an ongoing aggravation to the Divine.

I don’t care if it’s a political party, a religious sect or a corporation’s Madison Avenue advertising campaign. Any conglomeration of people who try to alienate one group of individuals from another is removing manners from human interaction, and therefore is giving the status of manliness to little boys with hair in the right places.

I did not become a man until I realized that “NoOne is better than anyone else.” When I did that, I ceased to be a threat and became an advantage to those around me, and because I had the sniff of benefit instead of the stink of an adversary, I found myself embraced and my confidence boosted.

A man needs manners–and manners spring forth from understanding that “NoOne is better than anyone else.”

Now, after that revelation is registered deep in the heart of the male of our species, it is time for him to manifest. This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “man up.”

Because “NoOne is better than anyone else,” a true man will stand tall and say, “I have set my sights on doing better.”

He will proclaim, “I’m not speaking for anyone else–just me. The whole world doesn’t have to follow my example. Society does not have to concur. I will manifest something in my life that is born of my passions, nurtured by my talents and brought to the finish line by my perseverance.”

The sure way to lose the respect of the world around you–especially a female’s–is to make claims, set goals … and never accomplish anything.

A true man manifests. He brings to fruition realities that show he is aware of his weaknesses and is moving towards solutions.

  • It is sexy because it’s sensitive.
  • It is intelligent because it shows we’re thinking.
  • It is spiritual because it allows the possibility for repentance.
  • It is emotional because it shares a vulnerability with an aspiration towards improvement.

The notion that manliness is expressed by refusing to admit wrong has caused at least eighty percent of the pain, evil and darkness that has befallen our world. I want leaders who flip-flop. I want to be around men who are given new information and instead of ignoring it, burying it or pretending they already were aware of it, they implement it into their next decision.

I do not know where we got the idea that manliness means “being right.” Being a man is pursuing right, and therefore, being willing to be wrong. The foolishness of our art, entertainment, politics and even our religion in portraying men as hunters and domineering has placed pressure on mere human beings to cover up their flaws instead of deciding to do a little bit better every day.

The most romantic thing I have ever done in the presence of a woman is to tell her where I have erred, share with her my plan and then follow up with some evidence that my convictions are bearing fruit.

It is time to put the “man” in manly.

Manners–they are set in motion when we finally comprehend that “NoOne is better than anyone else.” It tenderizes the human experience into compatibility instead of competition.

Manifest“I will set my sights on doing better.”

There are only two things you can do in life to pass the time: think up excuses for why you aren’t changing, or make a plan on how to change. One is the profile of an ignorant coward and the other is manly. Would you join me in putting the “man” back in manly?

Perhaps it will be easier for women to understand their heart and purpose when they don’t have to spend nearly as much time figuring out why little boys never became men.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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