In today's ever-evolving world, the concept of masculinity has been a topic of discussion and reflection. Many individuals, especially young men, often find themselves questioning what it means to be a "real" man in today's society. It's essential to recognize that while the world around us changes, the core essence of being a man and being good at being a man remains remarkably consistent.
The Timeless Essence of Masculinity
Masculinity, for the most part, has retained its fundamental characteristics throughout history. It's about embodying certain qualities that define a man's character and conduct. These enduring traits include but are not limited to:
Strength: A real man possesses not only physical strength but also inner strength. This inner fortitude enables him to make wise decisions and face challenges head-on. A man needs to be physically strong, mainly, to protect his family and himself from whatever or whoever the world throws his way. As men, we have to be capable and willing to rain down extreme violence if necessary, in the protection of our family and self. We have to be warriors. Hopefully, most of us will never have to flip that switch. More importantly, knowing when not to flip that switch.
In my opinion, men should be dangerous, but always in absolute control.
Bravery: Authentic masculinity involves courage—the courage to stand up for what one believes in, even in the face of adversity or societal norms. It's about doing what's right, not just what's easy. Being brave doesn't insinuate the absence of fear, but instead, the triumph over it. It's ok to have fear, fear is one of the things that keeps us alive, just don't let fear rule you or lie to you. Fear is one of the biggest liars. Have the courage to stand up and protect someone that can't protect themselves. Have the courage to help. As a man, that's your job.
Emotional Intelligence: Contrary to misconceptions, masculinity doesn't mean emotional detachment. It means understanding, managing, and expressing emotions constructively. A true man is not only in touch with his feelings and emotions, he rules over them. He is always in control of his words, actions, and body language. Make no mistake, the most dangerous man in the room is the man that is in full control of his emotions. One key way that he is in full control is because he has learned to drop his ego.
Ego has gotten and will continue to get a shit ton of men in trouble. If you have an ego, drop it. It doesn't matter. So what if a dude bumps into you at a bar. Did he mean to? Probably not. Did he apologize? Who gives a shit - don't let your ego and emotions get the better of you. Do everything that you possibly can to avoid a fight. Could you beat the hell out of this drunk idiot? Of course you could, but why would you, other than to serve your own ego?! You should only fight if you have exhausted every other option. PS, there is no such thing as a fair fight. If you are fighting fair, you're not fighting to win. Buy that dipshit a beer if that's what it takes. Who cares if he called you a p#&&y - who cares what he or his friends think. Drop you ego and stay in control!
Adaptability: Life is full of uncertainties and challenges. Authentic masculinity requires the ability to adapt, learn from setbacks, and emerge stronger from adversity. If you aren't learning from your mistakes and failures, you are missing out on some of the richest and useful information there is. Learn from your mistakes!
Compassion: A genuine man can connect with others on a deep emotional level. He shows compassion and empathy, recognizing the importance of nurturing healthy relationships. Relationships are everything, but as far as your friend circle, keep it small.
Embracing Timeless Masculinity
Becoming good at being a man is a lifelong journey. It involves embodying the enduring qualities mentioned above and striving for self-improvement. Here are practical steps to help men and young men embrace and excel in their masculinity:
Personal Growth: Being good at being a man begins with personal growth. Strive to be the best version of yourself and uphold unwavering integrity. This journey involves continuous learning, self-reflection, and self-improvement. Everyone makes mistakes. Own them, apologize when applicable, and learn from them.
Supporting Others: A real man is a leader within his community and social circles. Effective communication, inspiring positivity, and motivating others to excel are key aspects of masculinity. Supporting others in their personal and professional endeavors is a hallmark of genuine manhood. Don't be the asshole that tells your buddy or family member that "starting up that business isn't a good idea" or "that business will never work." The only men that say that are cowards themselves and have no self esteem. You need to be building people up. Now I'm not saying if your buddy comes to you for advice you shouldn't give him your honest assessment - you absolutely should.
The "men" that tear other people down are not real men, they are cowards that hate themselves. They think that putting other men (and people in general) down makes them look strong and confident. As you know, it doesn't. Real men like us look at guys like that and shake our head.
Men never tell a joke at the expense of someone else - to make everyone laugh by tearing someone else down. That is an immediate sign of a weak man. Confident men can joke about themselves and have a laugh at their own expense. There are obvious exceptions. For example: my army buddies and I would, and still do, bust each other's balls like you would not believe, on top of calling each other every name in the book. Hell, if you don't bust each other's balls, are y'all even friends??But we never did it in the presence of someone outside of our circle.
A real man is confident in himself and isn't threatened by other men. A real man builds other men - and women- up. We try to instill the same confidence that we have, in them. We want them to be the best versions of themselves. We want to make them feel good about themselves. Why wouldn't we?
Respect, empathy, and fostering healthy relationships are integral to genuine masculinity. Connect with others on a deeper emotional level, nurture bonds, and contribute positively to your social and familial connections. This is especially true with your wife and kids!
This doesn't mean pander to toxic people. They have to go, immediately!
Facing Challenges: Authentic masculinity means confronting life's challenges head-on. Embrace adversity as an opportunity for growth, resilience, and adaptability. Understand that setbacks are part of the journey toward becoming a better man. Whatever it is, figure that shit out. That's what we do, we figure shit out. You don't have to do it by yourself, ask you dad, your wife, your buddy, Google, Youtube - whatever it is, just figure it out.
Mentoring and Guiding: Share your experiences and insights to positively influence others, whether in professional settings or personal relationships. At their request, mentoring and guiding others on their journeys are acts of true leadership and mentorship. This is especially true for your kids. You have to teach them how not only to survive in this world, but thrive.
Learn from my mistakes with my own kids; be patient, be kind, be empathetic, remember what it was like when your dad tried to teach you something - it was either a great experience or a horrible one - take cues from that experience and implement or omit aspects of it to your style. Also, show or explain to them however many times it takes for them to learn it.
Being a Man, Embracing Authentic Masculinity In today's world, being a man and being good at being a man isn't about conforming to fleeting trends or stereotypes. It's about staying true to timeless qualities of strength, bravery, emotional intelligence, adaptability, and compassion. These characteristics have defined masculinity for generations and continue to mold men into better partners, fathers, friends, and community members.
As we navigate the complexities of modern society, it's essential to remember that the essence of being a man remains rooted in enduring qualities. Embracing authentic masculinity involves personal growth, supporting others, building meaningful relationships, facing challenges with resilience, and mentoring those who look up to you. By embodying these principles, you will truly excel in being a man and making a positive impact on the world around you.
Embrace your masculinity and make a positive impact on the world!
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