Thursday, June 10, 2010

Real Talk: Guest Post by TheJackB

So my friend John asked me to write a post about what it means to be a real man and presto changeo, I have the following thoughts to share with you. But before I begin allow me to share some of the lyrics from the song I am listening to:

Do you really think I care,
What you read or what you wear,
I want you to join together with the band,
There's a million ways to laugh,
And every one's a path,
Come on and join together with the band.

Everybody join together, I want you to join together,
Come on and join together with the band,
We need you to join together, come on and join together,
Come on and join together with the band.

You don't have to play,
You can follow or lead the way,
I want you to join together with the band,
We don't know where we're going,
But the season's right for knowing,
I want you to join together with the band.

It's the singer not the song,
That makes the music move along,
I want you to join together with the band,
This is the biggest band you'll find,
It's as deep as it is wide,
Come on and join together with the band,
Hey hey hey hey hey hey, well everybody come on.
Join Together- The Who

I suppose that I could write it off as a coincidence that this started playing now. Could say that it is just part of the iTunes shuffle but I won’t. I won’t because it is appropriate and pertinent to this discussion.

A real man understands that there is a time and place for being part of a community or an individual. He recognizes that there are moments when he must go off by himself and follow his heart and that some times obligations/responsibilities must come ahead of that.

A real man understands that his role within the family unit is to provide for his family.  What is important to remember is that the most critical thing that a real man can provide for his family is emotional stability and then financial.

Now these are concepts and ideas that are not written in stone and are subjective in nature. But that is ok because when you deal with people and these sorts of things there is no single formula to follow, no one way to do things.

Family life is fluid and dynamic. Things are always changing. Children grow, parents age and relationships build, develop and dissolve. So a real man figures out how to adapt and overcome the challenges that are presented.

A real man accepts responsibility for the good and the bad. You hold yourself accountable because when the lights go out and you are alone with your thoughts it is always clear whether you met or failed to meet the mark you set.

In my mind a real mind is active in the world around him. He gives back to his community and tries to make the world a better place. These are not platitudes or things to be said for the purpose of making one look better.

Of course you could do so. You can always find a way to present a front to others, but you can never truly fool yourself. So when I sit down and think about whether I meet the mark, whether I fit the description of a real man I think…sort of.

Still working, still growing and hopeful that one day I get it right. But that is the good news, the real man always has another day. Another day to try to do it all again, to be better. Because a real man can’t accept just giving up.

Better to fail trying than to not try at all.

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