I’d like to redefine what a man is.
Perhaps to suit my own predisposition, but perhaps to know what it is I’m working towards. And to keep in mind what I’m raising these little boys to be.
To be a man is not to be more powerful. Strength is most admired when it is known and used with gentle hearts.
“Finding a woman” is not our goal. Finding ourselves is.
Whilst manners and nobility will never grow old, we are not only here to open doors and work hard.
We are not soldiers. We are guardians of our children’s peace.
Men can be jealous, anxious, insecure, upset and hurt.
Men like surprises and effort made for them.
Men know romance.
Violence has no inherent right to live within men.
Men have steady hands and soft words.
Men are dads. And real dads are just as loving, committed, caring and supportive as mums.
Wisdom of the kind to be passed on and taught by example exists in men.
Men need good friends too.
We are not “bastards.”
A man’s undeniable pull towards sex comes from a much deeper place of wanting to love and be loved in a society where men are given very few acceptable, encouraged and expected outlets for that.
Men should never “man up.”
Men make mistakes. And they learn from them.
We are not better than women in any sense at all. If anything, the fact that we try to be proves our inferiority.
Men plan for streams and mountains not pensions and promotions.
A good man will never lie. And that means that good men will hurt you.
Men say sorry.
Anger in a man does not make him a “psycho.” It makes him an angry man.
We are just as scared as you.
Flowers and fishes and wood and dirt are fine soul foods for men.
“Old fashioned” is never old fashioned.
Some men wait. We don’t all want it as soon as we can have it.
Men fight quiet wars in their minds far greater than any war with “boots on the ground.”
Men lay looking up at stars, dreaming of love while dew makes trails on their backs.
The typecast of “man” is the very thing that men do not really want to be.
Because men love.
Men are not perfect. We hurt people. But the expectation of perfection is not a fair one to lay at the feet of boys. And neither is the shrugged acceptance that they will fail or be less than in some way.
Men change. And men change over and over again in the nostalgic grip that being a boy has.
But perhaps that’s the thing. Because I would rather my boys never lose their innocence and excitement, curiosity and empathy, vulnerability and emotion.
Maybe real men never stop being boys in all the best ways.
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Author: Andy Charrington
Editor: Travis May
Photos: Matthew Kalapuch/Unsplash