How do you define a man? The law considers all boys to be men at age 18. But I feel age plays a minimal role in achieving manhood. A man is not defined by his age, but instead by his values, morals, and most of all, his actions. For example, my father is 18 years older than me, but I truly believe I am more of a man than him.
Real men hold woman at high value. They nourish and protect women, and show them the utmost respect. A real man would never degrade a woman, let alone strike her. And yet, I’ve seen my father display this with no shame, many times.
A real man takes responsibility for his actions, especially those that result in the birth of a child. And yet my father abandoned my mother and me, two years after my birth. Even worse, he left for another woman, my mother’s sister. A real man would never commit this foul betrayal.
A real man grooms his children for success, and if necessary, he will discipline them. But no matter what the punishment may be, it is done out of love, never with malicious intent. Yet my father chose to beat me and nearly choke to me to death because he assumed I stole a $25 gift card. A gift card he found in his truck days later. A real man rights his wrongs, but I received no apology.
A real man matures over time. He treats his life like a work in progress. He looks forward to a bright future no matter how dark his past may have been. He learns to have acceptance for things he cannot change. And most of all a real man learns to be fragile, just as I have forgiven my father. Because I am a man!
Photo: Photo Extremist/Flickr