What does Manhood mean?
What is a man?
According to numerous articles, a man was defined as tough, rugged and mean, with no emotion, except smiling at a woman. In 2021, a man is different. Now you are free to do what you want, but the social norms set for a man haven't changed at all. Considering many things have changed and many more things have adapted, how come the definition of a man hasn’t changed?
Well, officially it hasn’t changed. Currently, being a man as you know means to be compassionate, respectful, responsible, have both ambition and integrity, be resilient, self-aware, strong, but importantly vulnerable, patient and courageous. We both know what the words mean, but, truthfully, I don’t know what it means in practice. I never realised that in practice these words - these values - define who you are. What I do know so far is that these values make any decent human being. Regardless of gender I might add, that this is the key to being human.
It’s just one of those things in life which make no sense when you look at it on its own. Take a step back and look at it as just a piece of a puzzle. It makes a lot more sense that way. Being alive and breathing today is a mixture of both chance, and by compassion. To most, that wouldn’t make sense, but to me it means living life in a way where you bring no harm to the people around you. In fact, actively bringing joy to the people around you. It means being kind to the people around you. Just saying hi to the person in passing is meaningless to you, but to them it might just make their day. Our survival has only endured through our life by connecting with one another in a meaningful way, it just means being kind to the people around us. The lesson here is, essentially, be kind. Kindness is free but surprisingly rewarding.
This more or less means showing everything around you the common courtesy or decency they deserve - whether it be the physical environment, human beings, animals and everything else - this is what it means to have respect.
This does not mean what you thought when you were a child and your parents used to berate you about being responsible. It means accepting the consequences or the results of your actions, it means accepting who you are and what you have done. It’s about being committed enough to see what you do through.
Ambition is linked to progression. Wishing for growth in every manner possible and following it through. The only thing I can think of which explains this well is a seed. A seed wishes to grow, and that is what it does. It grows regardless of the condition it is in. It could easily stop but it doesn’t, it just keep growing. Ambition is the reason we have history. For every moment in history, the root of it is ambition. Someone had to be ambitious to make it happen. The very seed for growth in a man is ambition. Just remember this; no one in history ever succeeded on the idea of “good enough”. If you’re not aiming too high, you’re aiming too low
Integrity is when the things you believe in are showcased to the wordl. It’s when you wear your beliefs on your sleeve regardless of what you will face. Every man has their own value - never be afraid to show the world what you stand for.
Resilience comes from maturity, where you realise and accept that life has its challenges. Setbacks are a way of life and they are inevitable. What most don’t understand is that well, fuck the challenges. They are going to come anyway, don’t be embarrassed about falling. Be proud that you keep getting up as that is all that matters. What defines you is how you respond to falling down and how you get back up.
Self-awareness is how you know who you are and who you yourself want to be – regardless of what anyone else wants you to be. Self-awareness is what allows you to consolidate your strengths and improve them, as well as finding an answer for your weaknesses and relinquishing them.
It’s not what you think, I can tell you that much. It’s about having the strength to seek help. Success always comes when you work hard, but sometimes you need other people’s help for that extra push. It’s true asking for help is hard, but when you ask for help from the correct people you won’t be judged - you will be respected.
Being a man means admitting when you’re not OK. To be open and honest to the people around you in an emotional sense, unafraid to metaphorically bleed raw in front of everyone. Being vulnerable isn’t the opposite of being strong. It just makes you human.
In life nothing good happens right away, everything takes time. Learning to accept that is a skill you need to learn and practice, to remain consistent despite no immediate pay-off. This is a display of maturity as you understand the way of life is all about the long-term.
For all you 90s babies, I don’t mean Courage the dog, or the courage to do something. I am talking about the courage to be who you are, the courage to stand for something, the courage to walk out that door – day after day – and take on the world. Masculinity as we know it today, no matter how your personal definition is, all stems from courage.
And here is a Man, a kickass human being.
Geezers, we got this