What about our girls?
I have to start off and say this is not about giving boys a priority over girls or making boys more important than girls by focusing on them. This is more about calling out an image of manhood that is being sold to boys that causes more harm than good by providing a distorted view of what it means to be a man. The harm this does is done to themselves and eventually to the girls and women in their lives.
Narrow view of manhood.
He yells at his son from the bleachers at the high school game with the veins popping out from the side of his neck. His son is one of the best players on the field and you say to yourself, ‘is it worth it?’ You’ve seen the fear in the eyes of his son when he looks at his dad. Too often the dad sees this as respect but to the boy, it feels so much like fear.
Yes we all know that men should be strong. We compete, play sports and in the past have been explorers and survived many wars. We know that image of men well. And we feel inspired by movies that show that view of men. As boys we all dream to become one of those men someday. To be admired, respected and to feel successful.
We need to be more….
In modern society boys need a more balanced image of a man to follow and emulate. We also need other things such as compassion, understanding, love and a sense of humor. When we as men have these qualities, we are better able to have deep meaningful relationships with the women in our lives and we are easier to get along with in the work place. We need to show our boys that we are persistent, embrace the idea of life long learning, bring integrity and a high personal standards in the quality of our work.
Let your boys see you doing the right things.
Let them see you being polite to the lady behind the counter who needs a smile. Let’s not give them an image of a man who is ready at all times to set other people straight. If we commit to being the men that we want our boys to remember us by, we will have done two things. We will be giving our boys an image of a man that we can be proud of. I have to stop and ask myself every once in a while, if I died now what will my children have to remember me by? What will they they say about me? To everybody else that is who you are.
Men you are in the right place to….
You are in the right place to prepare the buys in your life to live a good life. The image of a man they see in you will influence who they will become. Give them an image of a healthy balanced man to reach for. The most amazing thing I have found is that in reaching to become the man I would like to someday be, I never get there but I move closer and closer to healing the parts of me that are still broken. When that happens, I am always surprised to find that in doing all I can to give them a Good-Life, I have been given much more in return.