The “manliness” industry is slanted toward the lion like, warrior ethos, with bodily strength touted as the first characteristic of a man.
In my reading and research I see two camps, two different coalitions of lions, if you will.
The one is the obvious Warrior Caste, you can spot em’ right off, I call them, “the INTENSE ones.”
Then there are all the other sites, there are quite a few actually, but in online searches using “manliness” as a search word, they don’t pop up until page two or three. I call those, “the HEALERS.”
My goal for The Emerging Man is to take up a position in the gap, between the two.
The goal of my exercise workouts as an Emerging Man are first… INTERNAL, for my health, I can’t serve anyone at all if I’m a physical wreck, and then EXTERNALLY… not for vanity; not for ego; and not for social media likes… it’s for the wolves in sheep’s clothing, and… other “lions.” Warrior or otherwise. Because the one thing any man has to find himself doing is DOMINATING himself and his personal endeavors. Like a lion dominates the Serengeti.
Having our physique being the “first impression,” that other lions take in.
In an article titled “The Truth About Lions” Craig Packer, Lead Researcher, after decades of research, has developed a belief about lions…
I love using that mental imagery when I’m out and about in the world.
I believe in what The Warrior caste promotes.
I’m seeing it might be a “barrier to entry” for an Emerging Man; but… on the other hand… I see the others as a barrier also.
Now, don’t get me wrong. They each have a certain following, a niche, even in historical tribal cultures, not ALL the men were warriors, and not ALL the men were healers either.
I think as an Emerging Man we can learn something from those types of “lions” from both coalitions.
BUT… we are not “natural” lions who announce their intentions in no uncertain terms. That’s why they are lions. And lions are only worried about other “true” lions, and they can spot each other right off. Big manes, loud roars, and crossing lines that they know shouldn’t be crossed.
We don’t roar, we don’t have a glorious mane of hair, (well some of us do… but that’s neither here nor hair) (and there are other true lions that are bald… but we’ll save that for another time)…
How then do we announce our intentions to the world at large; and specifically to another EMERGING MAN to see if we need; or want, to join or create a coalition… as I’m trying to do here?
How does an EMERGING LION understand his blind spots? How does he learn he has some? How does he learn to check them?
Check your blind spots of life… https://definitedad.com/the-backstory-looking-back-every-5-seconds/
The main selling point of the Warrior Caste is that they are prepared for a physical altercation.
I thought I was good to go due to my particular upbringing, until I found a boxing coach.
True lions come EQUIPPED with the equipment and skills to do damage to another lion… we do not. We have to develop ourselves.
I wasn’t afraid to mix it up with my coach, but with no real training, I got my butt handed to me.
I have had to take a different look at how I feel about a physical altercation. I can’t really join the HEALERS, due to my upbringing I have seen firsthand how people can be violent, with even those they profess to love.
I am looking to find another coach, for boxing, and most likely BJJ, if I can.
But… I don’t consider myself one of the “INTENSE ones” either.
I’m directly in the gap that the two create.
I won’t cause harm… unsolicited, and when I meet an INTENSE one, like my boxing coach, they, and he, was taken aback by my calm demeanor in the midst of battle, and the HEALERS are shocked by my confidence when I’ve had to physically step directly in between two people… with a gap just big enough for me to fit into… utilizing my calm presence to diffuse a situation…
And the WOLVES in sheep clothing… tend to just walk away.
I get it. We’re all selling something, at some point. Check out my book, The Definite Dad. (Shameless I know)
We all have a point of view. And the journey doesn’t include us measuring, or comparing ourselves against one another, but it does include identifying those we can learn from, and at some point joining with, to form a mutually beneficial coalition.
In my conversations I started to use the language, “male,” or “males,” because I can see the difference between a male who does not take on the responsibilities of manhood, and a man who has determined to be responsible for himself. There are some men out there, few and far between, but some. You gotta look hard for them. And without a mane, or 5 mile roar, they can be difficult to spot.
I’ve had to ENGAGE in conversations to identify some EMERGING men recently, the starting point of the conversations, “Hey, looks like you’re working out, what’s your program?”
Or the best one recently…
A young EMERGING MAN told me, “I couldn’t get into the gym, but I had a couple empty, steel car rims, they’re heavy, so I thought, “Dave would just use these.””
Sometimes we get little validations in life that our message isn’t falling on deaf ears, and it’s cool seeing a young lion take on the responsibility of becoming his own man.
What do you think your first impression is? Is it in a blind spot? Got another lion in your life to help you check it?
How do you ENCOURAGE, EQUIP, & ENGAGE with your lion coalition?