Men, what do you think of when you hear the word man? Some people may picture their dad. While others may conjure up their idol Tormund Giantsbane. Either way, there are as many ways to describe your quintessential man. Be it hairy or rugged, Often the thought of as a Cowboy or a battle-hardened Viking. Men are a part of this glorious world. We are natural leaders. People look to men for guidance.
I could jump into the political pool and talk about how men as a whole are being attacked but why? It won’t fix any of the problems right now. I wanted to take the time to talk about what is a guy. This is angled towards the young men but older greybeards may find wisdom in these words too. I want to talk to the average joe who is wondering what the world is getting at. The aspiring leader who trying to understand what exactly makes a guy. What does it mean to be a man? What drives you. Why at times it seems like you are going against the grain of the world and the decisions being made are herculean efforts. Are you doing the whole dude thing wrong?
We are Simple
Now first off I didn’t say simple-minded. I said, “we men are simple”. I often joke that to make a man happy is show him some boobs and hand him a sandwich and we will do anything for you. That is a bit of an oversimplification but not by much. We are creatures of simplicity. That is why, as men, we often find ourselves very content with the concept of simply hearing the wind blow over a field. Sitting at a campfire and watching the coals burn. We can do that without talking for hours. When we find something simple and ingenious you can often catch a guy marveling at the simplicity.
All this is actually normal for a guy. It’s not that we don’t like to work. We take out identity from the work we do. In fact, a man who has a worthy cause will keep going even if he is in agonizing pain. Just look to our national heroes, they are focused on whatever battle is at hand. over and over again they lead the charge to death’s door to save the innocent from tyranny. The levels of heroics the troops perform are amazing. we look at these stories almost as the stuff of legends. A perfect example is W.V. Meadows, he was shot in the eye by a Union soldier. Then 58 years later he coughs up that bullet. Only to turn around and become best friends with the very soldier who shot him. If he doesn’t fit the description of a real man I don’t know what does.
Our Stories are important
As you can tell with Mr. Meadows, friends are important. W.V. Meadows became friends with Peter Knapp, The man who took his right eye, and they swapped stories of their service experience till they died. The ability to share stories with our friends and others is a bigger part of a man’s fabric of being.
You often find men sitting together talking. Yeah, we gossip as much as the women do. Some even more. For men though, the fellowship of sharing stories with each other is a trait that has been handed down from generation to generation. Some people fear that it is a lost art. Young men don’t share as many stories as the more seasoned men do. The reason is simple they don’t have as many stories. There is a lack of experience. It isn’t a dig on the young’uns. They learn the rite of storytelling as they get older. As long as there is a coffee shop you will have the old farmers, ranchers and other tradesman swapping stories and sharing news as they heard it.
The young men of today will slowly migrate over to the coffee shop and start out listening to the tales of yore. They will laugh at the fact that they just heard Farmer brown talk about that redhead he used to pursue 58 years ago. He might even talk about the time they had a tryst a couple years before she married the Baptist preacher. Men Love stories that are why your son wants you to read to him. Read as much as you can. Instill the love of stories. Those stories create a strong bond between men. That is how father and sons can be the best of friends. No matter what the age gap is.
Love to Laugh
Let’s go back to the coffee shop. First thing in the morning and often around 2 o’clock you will find a gathering of men. They will often average over 60 trips around the sun. They talk about the weather and wonder when they are going to get some more rain. There can be the occasional heated debate about local politics. More often than not you will hear laughter. Men laughing. Even at their age playing a prank on the grumpy one because he gets the most worked up. Yet, they all will laugh at a joke. It doesn’t matter whether it is off colored or not. Men want and need to laugh. It is a communal bond. That communicates volumes to a man. A simple chuckle tells a guy he is part of the group. It helps ground him in his community. The older a man gets, the more he needs his friends of yesteryear and those friends will help him laugh.
Look around today you see that in reality, nothing has changed. You have young men doing things that older men would consider stupid. Though they know they would have done the same thing in their prime. There was even a television show of a group of guys who were close friends because they laughed together. The source of their laughter was from them doing some really dumb stunts. Did I laugh at them? Oh yeah, hands down the guys at jackass would often leave me cringing and laughing at the same time. Often I would laugh with my son sitting right beside me. That is because laughter is a relational cement.
We are fixers
Ok, guys, how many times has your wife or girlfriend come to you with a problem and we automatically try to fix the issue. The best example is the “It’s not about the nail” video.
Ladies if you come to us guys with a problem we are going to do what comes naturally. We are going to fix the problem. That is how we show we care. This is one of the differences in our sexes that just isn’t that easy to change. We don’t understand why you would come to somebody with a problem if you don’t want that problem resolved. This is truly one of the great mysteries of women. That and why you have to go to the bathroom in a group.
The best solution for the “fix it” compulsion we men have, is to tell us that you just want us to listen. We will do our best to keep our mouths shut. I can’t guarantee that we won’t let some advice and/or suggestions slip from time to time. We are doing everything in our power to listen to the woman of our life. Just know that when you are done talking we will still produce an easy 38 step process to fix the problem at hand.
We are all about family
Unlike what the media would like to tell you, men love being a part of a family. Often the birth of their child is the scariest and exhilarating event in a grown man’s life. Sadly, today you hear about how some guy is abusive in one horrible fashion or another. No matter what type of abuse be it physical sexual or psychological, abuse is horrible. Not to diminish the atrocity that is abuse. Yet, Look at how many men are actually in just the USA. The millions that are currently married far outweighs the scumbags that don’t deserve the happiness and fulfillment that is being a family man. Yet, all you hear seem to hear about how men are abusers and toxic masculinity
You often see movies that portray men as self-centered jerks that would rather be in a bar than with their wife. This is the farthest thing from the truth. The truth that isn’t told is the number of men who race home at the end of the day. So they can be greeted by their 3-year-old squealing with joy that daddy is home. To be able to slide an arm around mom’s waist and lay a solid smack on her lips. This is the reward the vast majority of men long for after going out and slaying their dragon for the day. The ability to have a family is crucial to men. Look at the stats around and men live longer when they are married. Men are generally happier when they have Al Bundy Syndrome (Married with Children).
Yet you hear some not so “enlightened” women claim that the patriarchy is the root of all the worlds pains. Now I dont know what man did what horrible thing to what women. Yet this case of blatant misandry. The best proof of who rules the roost is to go in to the heart of the US. GO into any small town. Ask the children who their dad fears making mad. Who rules the roost and you will see that the wife runs the house. She has just as much say about what goes on in the finances as the man.
Any honest man will tell you that they are not about to upset the little lady of the house. Because if you do there is hell to pay, and we are happy about that. The Man’s purpose at the house to protect our kingdom. It is best-described, Men may be the heads of the house but the women are the neck.
People Turn to Us for Leadership
Not only are we heads of our house. The wife comes to use for advice on one thing or another. People in our own circles come to us for insight and advice.
Men are natural leaders. Other men, women, and children turn to use for guidance. Now are there bad leaders? Yeah, the same as there are bad husbands and bad wives. Nobodies perfect. Yet people instinctively turn to men for guidance.
We are leaders in our households. We pass along family traditions and hold family rites of passage for major milestones for our kids. We have a hand at helping shape the minds of our offspring. Do we always know what we are doing? No, but we do our best.
Yes we like to be macho
We men, by God, have lots of testosterone running through our bodies. So yes we like to bow out our chest in pride from time to time. We even enjoy being a caveman at select times, and believe it or not our wives actually like for us to be that strong Viking god. We like to have fun both in the bedroom or on the dining room table. The times we can be Manly is our way of saying WE are MAN!
Men like to get in touch with the primitive side from time to time. It is often recommended that we do so at regular times. Whether that is fishing or hunting or just making a fire at a campsite. There are actually gender roles. Those roles are needed for men and women to feel complete. Don’t believe me? Look at the turmoil that is happening in our society.
There is a popular saying that makes its rounds on Facebook about once every year. The saying goes like this
A young man once asked an elderly man how he got to be so wise. The old man replied through experience. The young man quickly asked how I get experienced. By doing stupid shit was the old man’s response.old saying
We, men, are simple. Just as simple as that Old man’s response. We learn and grow but with every experience, it solidifies that we men are simple creatures. We want friends, and we like to laugh at particularly smelly farts. From the time we are small kids, all the way up to the curmudgeon grumpy guy on the corner. We are fiercely protective of our family and will help a person in need. If you reduce us to our bare essence we are just an average dude.
Men, don’t feel bad about not knowing your purpose. If you are a young adult or even grown men who have been on this earth for 40+ years, we still struggle with who they are. As long as you know you are a man and you take pride in that you can’t go wrong.
I like being able to help people find their “why” and achieve the personal freedom they desire. Besides writing for Relaxed Male I also am a life coach. By helping men find the leader that is found in each and every one of us. I do this by encouraging men to get outdoors and find the balance they are missing. Realize that they need to be in contact with the outside as often as they can. It is not only good for them but for their families and relationships.