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The Quest for Manhood

 

Before beginning any journey, one must know what their goal is. As a young boy, most of us developed an image in our own minds of what type of man we wanted to be when we grew up. When it came to careers, we all had our dream jobs. For some it was to be a policeman or fireman, for others a lawyer or doctor. Some of us realized our goals, some are in progress, and others have fallen by the wayside. For almost all of us, one goal we laid out for ourselves was to be a ‘good man’. As with our other goals, some of us have made it, some are in process, and others have fallen off the wagon.

The difficult part of having “be a good man” as a goal, is that it is hard to define exactly what that means. ‘Man’ is not a definition of a sex. Certain physical characteristics play a role in our inherent maleness, true, but these have little to do with being a Man. A Man stands for certain things – most notably doing what is right – virtue, honesty, integrity. A real man tries his hardest not to be racist, not to prejudge others, to tell the truth and stand up for what he believes to be right – even when that means going against the crowd and standing up for someone else.

Thousands of years ago being a Man simply meant killing supper and teaching your son how to kill supper. Every once in a while you had to defend your family from a wild animal. As time progressed the burden on men also increased. Simply killing supper was no longer enough to provide for your family. You had to have a house, a car. Socially more became expected of men. Now we have to be charming and sophisticated, always have a quick joke on hand and a smile on our face.

Much talk has been made in the past year or so of the metrosexual. Straight guys who appear to be gay either through their culture, fashion or taste for wine. In truth, a real man should have culture, fashion sense, and a taste for wine. He should also know how to drive a manual transmission and be able to kill a spider or mouse if called upon. A Man does not need to be up on the haute couture of the Venice runways, but he should understand simple matching and know how to polish his shoes. If a man wants to get a manicure, that is fine, but he must not be afraid to get those manicured hands dirty and change a tire when called upon.

I call for a re-emergence of the true man. A man who does not order frozen blended drinks at the bar. A man who does indeed know the difference between a merlot and a cab, but who orders a bourbon, neat instead. Guys like Sinatra and Bond. These are the men that other men look up to. You iron your shirts, you hold doors open for women. Its about holding yourself to a higher level than the slob down the street. Its not about owning a Rolex or a Porsche, but it is about realizing that you yourself hold the power to do these things in your own heart, and that you, as a man, are a doer, not a pawn in someone else’s grand scheme. If you are happy and content in your job and life, no matter what you do – you are embodying what it means to be a man. If you snivel and whine because your boss treats you like crap and still come back the next day for more, its time to re-evaluate your manhood.

I sat and wrote down a few items that I though were important to be a Genuine Man.

Genuine Men do not brag
Genuine Men can tie a tie and polish their shoes
Genuine Men are honest
Genuine Men stand for what they believe in
Genuine Men are comfortable in their own skin.
Genuine Men have integrity
Genuine Men work hard and play hard
Genuine Men always strive to see the glass as half full
Genuine Men take ownership of their destiny
Genuine Men are chivalrous

I began my quest to be a genuine man some years ago. As I move closer to my goal, I am forced to adapt and fine-tune my approach. Being a man requires a wide array of skills. Everything from fixing the toaster to picking the right wine. Looking great in your suit and being able to teach a kid to play catch.

Sometimes people look at me a little funny when I tell them I drive a rear wheel drive V8 car, or when I order a Guinness instead of a Bud. But, that’s just the way I am. I’m learning to be comfortable in my skin. I’m learning that the future is mine to command, but that it takes action, and sometimes patience to get where I want to be.

Today TheGenuineMan.com has its official launch. I don’t proclaim to have all the answers to every question life throws at us. However, it is my goal to tackle those obstacles with the best attitude I can, and to learn as much as I can along the way. I’m just a regular guy, trying to become a Genuine Man.