Monday, October 4, 2010

"How could I make a man out of you?"

I have observed that lately, many of my friends, boys and girls are debating on the subject of manhood.
What should a real man be like? What should he stand for? Where should he be getting his strength from? How can he protect himself, and those he loves from harm? What happens when he remains apathetic?

Hollywood has given us a few examples of how a"real man" should be like. Here is a recent one:

Meet Aragorn! King of Gondor and one of the greatest warriors in Middle Earth. He is calm, slow to anger, charismatic, decisive, a true leader. He always keeps his sword near, and when the enemy arrives he does not fear to fight, no matter their numbers. This is a guy willing to sacrifice his dreams and feelings for the woman he loves, for her prosperity. Most importantly, he is willing to sacrifice his life for his people.

You might be wondering why i used this Lord of the Rings character as an example. See my friends mentioned him as how many people view a real man. A warrior! A king!
     Oh boy, us men have such a high standard to live up to if that's the case. I mean, this dude can kill orcs by the hundreds! His sword is taller than me! He is dating an elf! I have to admit he's kinda intimidating for a college bum like me.
      I do not doubt Mr. Aragorn's manhood, but i feel we're missing the picture if we set him as the stereotype of how a real man should be like.
      Yes, a real man may not own a sword. A real man may not be a king, or one people look up to. A real man may not be as handsome or appealing, and of course just because you're not dating an elf doesn't mean you're not a real man.
   For those who insist that a man should fulfill the example of a equipped warrior, ready to put it all in the line and fight to the death I have to say this. You can carve the sharpest blade and lay it upon the hands of a boy. With some instruction and training the boy can become amongst the most fearful warriors. Here is, however what separates this boy from a man. The boy can fight battle after battle, no matter who the enemy, no matter what the odds. Unattached, fearless. He might be experiencing victory after victory, which will bring more and more pride in his heart. Then one day he will pick a fight too great for what he can handle. This will cost him friendships, family, his pride, and maybe even his own life.
    A real man picks his battles. He knows that you cannot always win, even more than that he knows that some times it's impossible to win. There's a difference between being brave and being just plain stupid. Just because you have the guts to fight doesn't mean you should. When he chooses to fight, every victory humbles him. She reminds him of what he could have lost, and so he is thankful. Every loss he keeps in memory instead of trying to forget. For it is from his losses that he receives greater lessons about life than his victories. There are times where he does not feel as brave and courageous. There are times where he is  so scared that he wishes he could run away. But he doesn't... And it's not the fear of loss that prevents him from doing so. It's Love. Love for his family, his wife his friends, the cause he fights for. It is this love that keeps him from stepping down when facing the greater challenges.

   Now, you might say: "You said a real man doesn't necessarily have to own a sword! Yet you describe him like such a bad ass warrior!"
    Well, not all wars are fought with swords. There are so many battles in life where your opponent is faceless. Maybe a tough situation, overcoming an addiction, or facing a tragedy. These are some of the battles modern men are called to face, and trust me, they can be far more intimidating than a goblin with a battle axe.
   This is all for now. For next time, i will attempt to explore another side  and issues on manhood. Until then, feel free to make any comments, and objections! Stay safe and fight the good fight.


Seeker of the Light