A real man – on Father’s Day
I wrote this some years ago and still believe it has some relevance for today. Enjoy—and Happy Father’s Day to all those fathers out there. May you spark joy with all those who love you for who you are as a father.
It’s tough these days to be a man. In fact, I’m sure there are a lot of boys out there searching to be a “real man” in a world that is an ever shifting ambiguity. I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve had a number of male role models in my life starting with my father who gave me the courage to be what I think is right in a world that judges every day through the scrutiny of many eyes.
Pressing weights, being a sports star, being a fancy dan with the girls, is more a proof of the boy needing to become an artificial man in others’ eyes than being a real man for himself. Personally, I like poetry, I teach children to play chess and I work hard to support my family. Not glamorous to most outsiders, but I don’t measure myself by anyone else’s standards.
Integrity of being is not based on how much one makes or their status in relation to others. No, “Man ness” is based on strength of character to stand up for principles such as family, faith and flag. “Man ness” is also based on one’s willingness and ability to contribute to what we are as a whole community. This may not be the stuff little boys dream of, but it is the foundation of what being a “real man” is all about.
PATRICK J. WOOD
Author of “Dear Reader” and “Tapestry of Love and Loss”