It means lovin' the feel of my fist in someone else's face.
It means waiting for them to hit the ground and knowing that I put them there.
- Daredeveil, S03E09
"Be a man". What does it really mean? What differentiates men from boys? Different people will have different answers, as different environments and different experiences have moulded our perception of what a man should be.
Does merely reaching puberty make you a man?
Do you need to be strong and tough to be a man?
Does having facial hair make you a man?
Do you need to play sports to be a man?
Do you need to have a job, own a house and a car to be a man?
Be a man
We must be swift as the coursing river
Be a man
With all the force of a great typhoon
Be a man
With all the strength of a raging fire
Mysterious as the dark side of the moon
Sometimes, being a man is so difficult that women do a better job of being men then men themselves.
So what does make a man? Well in my experience, the true measure of a man is not reflected by his words, nor in the way he dresses, nor his possessions, but by his actions.
I believe that doing the right thing is often difficult because men let their egos get in the way. They don't admit their mistakes because it would mean admitting they were wrong. They don't give credit where it's due because they want all the praise. They don't listen to others because they feel they know best. A man's ego is often the biggest obstacle for men to overcome.
I've been told that I sometimes (ok, maybe more than sometimes) fail to follow through on promises I make. I also tend to do things that are easier for me, when I should instead make more effort to make things easier for others. I also have trouble with confrontations, often opting to keep quiet rather than talk things out. In a nutshell, I can talk the talk, but I can't walk the walk.
Ironic then it seems, that I'm here writing about what it means to be a "man", when I myself seem to be having trouble with the concept. Perhaps though, that lends some credibility to my point of view. Experience is the best teacher after all.
I'm reminded of a quote, but I can't recall from where or whom said it, but it goes a little something like this.
The true test of a man is not how he acts when he knows what to do, but how he acts when he doesn't know what to do.
As I've grown older, I've found this to be more and more true. I can get by fine when things are going my way, but when things start to go off the rails, and I need to "man up", that's where I falter.
This isn't meant to be a self-pity post. Just an opinion of what I think defines a man. I wouldn't call myself a man, not in the truest sense of the word, but that's what I think makes it real. If being a man was easy, the world would be a much better place.
So to my fellow "men", let's try to be the best that we can be. The people in our lives deserve it.