What ideal of manliness are you trying to attain to?
What picture do you have in your mind and what strategy do you have that will get you there?
My early ideal of a man was found in Clayton Moore’s interpretation of the Lone Ranger.
He was a cowboy, a Texas Ranger, educated, spoke well, had good manners, and always won the day against the black hats.
I didn’t know that at the age of 6.
Many moons later, after Youtube got up and running, I was able to watch episodes of ‘Have Gun Will Travel’… “a knight without armor in a savage land.”
As I was researching for my own ideal of manliness.
Being older I could see how “corny” The Lone Ranger was, don’t get me wrong, he’s still cool but I was looking for something a little more real.
“This series follows the adventures of a man calling himself “Paladin” (played by Richard Boone on television and voiced by John Dehner on radio), taking his name from that of the foremost knights in Charlemagne‘s court. He is a gentleman investigator/gunfighter who travels around the Old West working as a mercenary for people who hire him to solve their problems.” ~ Wikipedia
After my journey start in 2009, and finding The Art of Manliness, Paladin popped up a few times, so I looked into the character even more.
Here was a better picture of what I thought a gentleman could be.
I always liked movie characters who seemed simple at first, and then when a “hoity-toity” bad guy would try to put them in their place… my characters would drop some Latin, or a quote from Shakespeare on them.
Like John Wick does, at the gas station, “Ne eta suka.”
But these are just characters right?
If you would take a look around you right now, and realistically, looking at your peer group, are their any, or is there one guy you can look up to, or that you know if you wanted to have a legitimate conversation with about being a man or how a man should act in today’s world… or that you might be able to play chess with?
If you looked around and thought to yourself, “I don’t have anyone like that, we are all about the same, on the same level, I’m a little better at Call of Duty and Fortnite… but we’re all pretty much the same.”
I’d have to ask, “Do you even think of what manliness is?”
Has it crossed your mind?
I had to ask myself that same question back in 2009.
I was rolling along well enough… or so I thought.
So I started searching out what I thought it was, versus, what my immature, child inside, thought it was based off of my love of cowboys.
The thing about life journeys is that… they’re long, you have to learn and re-learn on the go, and you have to try to implement those things you learn that you feel make you more manly.
The Lone Ranger is still my ideal, Paladin made me read more history on knights, knighthood, even looked up the Order of the Garter, and my famous writers I look to… Hemingway and London, keep me aware of my mental state, and have me learning about my personal political leanings.
With two other men, and their writings, having stayed with me since my start in 2009… a one Mr William H. Danforth, and Jesus of Nazareth.
Along with others I’ve discovered along the way… David Goggins, Ryan Michler, Jocko, Joe Rogan, Bernie Mack, Sun Tzu, Musashi, Dorian Yates, The Rock, Muhammad Ali… and yes, another childhood hero…
The first one I should have been looking to was my dad.
I didn’t get dealt that card. You?
I had a favorite uncle, but wasn’t around him enough to really pick anything up.
The clearest picture I had, or could conjure up was one of some old men I would run into.
Old, wise, good with their hands, some when you looked at them you knew not to mess with them, war heroes, smart, maybe not Shakespeare smart, but SMART smart, and when others were around they commanded a type of real world respect that you usually only seen in the movies, I considered these the real men, in the real world.
When I would meet one of these gentleman I would try very hard to glean something, anything, from them that I thought would make me more of a man.
Well… finally… I got the ‘old’ part taken care of.
I can fix some things with my hands.
To gain wisdom, I have been reading more and more of real men of the ancient, and near past.
I have chosen to get healthy, and as strong as I think I need to be.
I know I am able to “stand in the gap” when needed.
And recently, out in public, my presence has preceded me.
Feels good to be a man. Finally.
If you’re reading this then your porch light came on.
You might even being standing out on that porch, looking out into the dark, wondering just what it is about being a man may mean to you.
I don’t agree with every little thing those other men bring to the table… that’s part of being a man… having your own mind… but being able to take in what they’re ‘selling’ at face value… and then ruminating on that for awhile until you know for yourself which pieces of information you agree with and would like to try to apply to your own life’s journey.
I have found on my journey that men come in many shapes and sizes, have differing opinions on what sequence manly traits need to fall, having varied “day jobs” from top to bottom, varied family histories, different religious views, and on and on.
One trap we have to dodge is the double staked trap of “comparison”.
You may be just starting out on your journey… so I have to remember how it was when I was just starting out.
I can’t fault a guy for where I was.
But… boy… when I look back on just how messed up I was… and still am in some instances… I can’t help but…
- get mad at myself when I don’t measure up to my, now more defined, personal ideal.
- feel angry, when I see another young man, or older, just floating through life, struggling with drugs or alcohol; struggling in his relationships; struggling with himself; or acting like someone has just hit the “pause” button on him being able to snap out of it and start maturing.
The good guys you’re looking for in the real world… are either dead, or are at work.
It’s hard to find real men to talk to… much less emulate.
So go ahead, Google the crap out of “Manliness” start seeing “what it could mean to you”, look back to those childhood heroes, look up real men of history… yes… even Gandhi.
And if you were dealt an Ace, a good dad, or pair of Aces in grandma and grandpa, take a minute to tell them “Thank you.”
Because a real man will understand… GRATITUDE.
A real man, an Emerging Man… will learn to ENCOURAGE, EQUIP & ENGAGE!