It’s been about four months since I graduated college and I just knew that in the “real world” that everyone loves to speak so highly of, the caliber of men would heighten- thought it was! Nothing much has changed mentally, just a little more facial hair physically and possibly money- possibly. Now before you even think this is a post throwing shade to all men, it’s far from that. But guys, I think it’s time we had a talk.
In my short yet fantastical twenty-two years of life, I’ve come across a plethora of guy types on both personal levels and levels of cordiality. The jock, the family man, the artist, the businessman, the funny guy, all amazing. And believe it or not, we all know a guy that falls into each of those categories; they come and they go. However, one type that is slowly becoming extinct, is the “real man”. The man who embodies all the other guy types, the man who refuses to settle for second best, the man who is accountable for both his misleading actions and impressive successes.
Society has embedded this notion into men at a young age that a guy should not show fear, he should never cry, and many other things. But I think the ideas of consistency and responsibility were overlooked. My male students hear my mouth every single day when they do foolish things that are not exuding gentlemen-like qualities. At the developing ages of 14 and 15, they find comfort in allowing females to move desks from one side of the class to the other, sagging their pants without a belt, and the worst- getting in trouble and blaming it on the guy sitting next to them. I find myself going off on a tangent often, trying to change both their book smarts and their personal mindsets (since I have that opportunity as a teacher), and slowly I’m seeing a change. Being completely honest though, I cant even be mad. They are only doing what they see. Men my age and older do the exact same things. Grown men sag their pants. Hell, in college one of my guy friends WATCHED me load a car to move out of a dorm. And we all know men lie and cheat and for some reason can never own it, finding comfort in blaming another or providing a weak excuse. Almost as if they are obliged to be in a relationship! I cant deal. But let me leave that alone. I’ll save my “Angry Black Woman” thoughts for another time.
A man should be the epitome of hardwork and strength- physically and mentally. There comes a time when a man should want to do better not only for the people around him but for himself.
Today, I decided to switch it up and hit you all with a double header. S/O to LG for the brilliance.
Today’s Keyword(s): reZEALance (got that?)
resilience |riˈzilyəns| (n): the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity
zeal |zēl| (n): great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective
Having zeal and resilience are virtues that every man should have, or begin working towards. As a man, especially to all my black men out there, life will throw some stressful curve balls at you. However, it is in those defining moments, that you see how much of a man you are, by dusting yourself off and trying again. That is the epitome of manhood, not how many weights you can bench (because that’s the most common misconception if I’ve ever heard one). Resilience is going against the grain even when the odds are not in your favor, never giving up. A resilient man not only knows his strengths, but he uses them to his advantage. He is aware of his weaknesses and desires change. A resilient man is rarely jealous yet always zealous. Real men are forever in an enthusiastic pursuit of bigger and better, in work, love, and life in general.
I know I cant change the world, but all it takes is one. My male students have no choice but to move towards a place of resilience and zeal dealing with me. Although they don’t understand it now, they will thank me in the long run when they are my age reading a blog by a woman about real men. But you know what would be even more powerful than my words? My students actually seeing that for themselves in society by all of you amazing guys! Brothers, fathers, and mentors alike! Ahh, the potential is so real.
Now with this post, don’t think this is a “one size fits all” type of thing, because there are some game-changing men out there, the exceptions to the rule, if you will. These are men who are on their grind, goal driven, chivalrous, and intelligent. I refer to them as the few, the proud. There are some guys who courageously push themselves towards whatever they are striving for, remaining steadfast and resilient day in and day out (Hats off to y’all!). However, majority of this generation does not meet that criteria. There is a lack of consistency and at the end of the day, isn’t that what we all yearn for? A real man looks to himself as his only competition, bettering himself in every way possible, every day possible. A real man is honest and devoted to his goals and the people in his life, whole heartedly. A real man doesn’t have to say he is real, he shows it.
So guys, I have spoken my peace. What are your thoughts? How real are you? Comment below!
Ball is in your court.
Until next time,