The Path of the Righteous

Posted: January 26, 2011 in manliness

At times I find myself enthralled in the glory that is the freedom to express oneself and become a man custom built by his actions and experiences. A life free to be sculpted by the hands of the very individual living out those days is truly a thing of no small magnitude or beauty. It is that very freedom that has allowed me to make the many mistakes in my life, and has also allowed me to do the things of which I am most proud. I feel compelled to exercise the aforementioned freedom to put ink to paper, so to speak, and chronicle how to be not just another American male but an American man. Manliness is not achieved simply through the fortune of being birthed with more than one rope hanging from a disgusting, muck covered torso but in behavior and interactions with others throughout life. I like to think of American manliness not confined within set guidelines but more so as a definition of character based upon few core standards, allowing for each man to be unique. Courage, kindness, respect, loyalty, and charity are the common denominators, fellows.

American standards have a way of asking men in our culture to be lovers, protectors, providers, and even heroes. Regardless of profession every man can be a hero to someone. Heroism does not have to be measured in deeds of great peril but the term can be bestowed upon those who lead by example. A man should not come home from work upset daily, but rather proud of his day’s accomplishments and the work that he has done. When one loves what he does he truly has not had to work. When a man hates his job he will come home angry and his children will see this and emulate it. Unfortunate as it may be this has become the cycle of America. The first step in being manly is having the courage to do what is right, to do what must be done, or even the courage to chase a dream. If a man loves singing and writing music, then there is nothing that should stop that man but himself. This is America, my friends, and it is here for the taking. It is not the timid or the weak of will that grab opportunity by the short and curlies but the strong minded men that made this country great who succeed. Looking up at his father a small boy sees that fire in his eyes, that passion driving him to do what he loves, and that small boy respects and loves his father to no end. A father should always be at least one person’s hero. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a manly quality. Nothing should make a man feel greater than the respect and admiration of his family and friends.

Aside from being courageous in life, a man must also be tactful and willing to respect those whom he expects respect from in return. Being a good man is a much more difficult undertaking than many wish to burden themselves with. I charge my fellow men with the next step in American manliness, the balance of humility and pride. Some interpret the Holy Bible as stating that the opposite of humility is pride and that pride is negative. I maintain that pride, like most other characteristics, must be in moderation. Pride bordering on arrogance is distasteful it is by no means a manly quality. A man must discern the differences in pride and arrogance as well as recognize and understand when it is time to be humble. An arrogant man is a foolish man, but a man who takes no pride in himself is little if at all better off. Too humble and a man is seen as weak or even, oddly enough, arrogant. Too arrogant and a man is seen as pompous and quite frankly, as an ass. In the fact that no one wishes to be seen in either light we, as men, must achieve a balance in our character.

Character, gentlemen, is what makes a man after all. A wise man once said that a man should not be judged by his outward appearance but by the content of his character. Charity to those who need it, respect for those deserving, kindness to even his enemies, loyalty to whom or what he loves, and the courage to stand for it all, that is what makes an American man.

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