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It has been reported to me that my two great grandfathers inflicted harm on themselves.  One, shot off his finger so that he did not have to go to war.  The other pulled his own teeth with pliers (ouch).  Can we induct my great grandfathers into the “real men” hall of fame?  Not quite.  Could we call what they did couragous, maybe.   I can certainly say that this is just one data point; I would love to have had the privilege to observe these two men while they were living.  (I did get some time with the one granddad who pulled his teeth; he also maintained his own garden and rode a bicycle well into his 80s.)

So, what is the profile of a real man.  Here are my ‘qualifications’:

  • A real man cries.  I don’t like the phrase, “I am going to let my emotional side show now” which suggests crying is wrong or abnormal.
  • A real man is responsible.  A real man cares for his family; works so that the bills can be paid.  A real man is a man of his word (he has integrity).  A real man will take care of his kids even in cases of divorce.  He will not abdicate this role.  I firmly believe this: as the man goes, so goes his family; as a family goes, so goes society.
  • A real man acknowledges that he is weak and needs help occasionally.  Yet, our culture promotes this myth: “never let people see you sweat.”  Or “never let people perceive you are weak.”  Bologna!  I remember reading an article that reported that young athletes are being taught that if they are hurt; don’t tell the coach because this is a sign of weakness.  Bologna!
  • A real man makes unpopular decisions.  Every leader must make unpopular decisions.  If you want to be popular, sorry; it will not happen as a leader.  A leader will often be unpopular with those closest to him (wife, kids, etc.).
  • A real man seeks accountability from other men.  A real man knows of the grave temptations in our world.  Real men seek other men to keep themselves ‘safe’ from temptations.  I remember seeing Tyler Perry’s movie, “Why Did I Get Married?” and I remember one scene in particular where the husbands are talking.  One husband says, “Remember the 80/20 rule.”  The ’80/20′ rule goes like this: are you willing to give up what is 80% good about your marriage for 20% of fleeting fun?
  • A real man acknowledges when he is wrong.  A real man does not try to cover up his wrong; rather, he admits his faults to his wife, kids, other loved ones, co-workers, etc.

That’s my story and I am sticking to it.


One Comment

  1. Excellent!!

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By A Real Man « The Life and Times of Brad Bobo on 05 May 2008 at 4:07 pm

    […] Read it here […]

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