Thöriniel returns with another thoughtful missive touching on one of the few truths of life and his own brand of gender equality.
THE VICIOUS CYCLE
There are many things wrong with the world today. It is fair to say that society has deteriorated to the point where we conform ourselves, not to what is right or wrong but rather, to what society asks of us.
Society places undue pressure on young men to make it in life and it has created something of a yardstick by which it measures the success or failure of each man.
What then are the parameters by which we are judged?
How then does society gauge the measure of a man?
– Be educated (formal/informal. Just learn something so you can put food on your table).
– Get a paying job (because let’s face it, there are lots of jobs that are more of a waste of resources than anything else)
– Ride expensive cars (but of course!)
– Get married (I’m fairly sure some ladies are smiling as they read this part… Smh)
There they are people, the measure of a successful man, at least, by the eyes of the society. If a man lacks one or more of these, he is seen as less or inadequate in some way.
While that’s all good and fine, I have a question that I wish to pose back to the society:
Is material possession the only measure of a man’s true worth?
REAL MEN VS GOOD MEN
Our society is filled with real men.
Men who are taught that emotions portray weakness and weakness is for women and children only. Men who are taught from their early days to exhibit strength at all times.
Sound familiar, anyone?
There is a dearth of good men and an excess of real men. This in no way implies that real men are not good people to have around. It’s just that most of them are just a few measures shy of being good men.
Good men are not necessarily emotionally weak but rather they realise that emotions are a part of their make up as human beings and accept this weakness as a part of who they are.
It’s not enough to be seen as a tough and hard man, who is unfeeling and unyielding. That’s just society garbage stinking up the place. A good man puts his priorities in order and let’s the truth of nature take its course.
If he is upset, he lets loose.
If he is happy, he laughs.
If he is hungry he eats.
If he is sad, he cries.
And when he feels an overwhelming feeling of ineffable magnitude, he will open his mouth and say to the one who births these feelings in him… I love you.
He takes the feelings of the people around him into consideration whenever he makes a decision.
He listens to the voices of the people beneath him.
He follows the laws and statutes of the community and strives to leave a better community than the one he met.
The characteristics are many and the truth is that most, if not all, men know what is expected of them to be good men. They would rather prefer to be real men.
I say kudos to you all!!!
I for one wish to be remembered as a good man.
A man who is flawed yet realises that his strengths lie just beyond these flaws and works hard to grow beyond them.
A man that knows his place in society is not dependent on what society thinks of him.
A man who loves and respects women and their rights.
A man who recognises the value of his emotions and chooses not to be ruled by it.
A man that is not cowed by future challenges when he sees it.
A man who puts family and the people he loves first.
A man who does not crave attention but gets respect from those around him as a result of his actions and life choices.
A man full of wisdom.
Fatherhood is one of the most sensitive issues that affects our society today.
It is a shameful fact that many men roam the streets, beating their chests proudly that they are fathers and daddies after all, they have sired children and are responsible for their well-being.
What more is there to being a father?
They are so surprised and shocked when they hear that a man is supposed to show care and love to his children.
Why then did we get married?
That is the job of their mother, no?
Fatherhood is much more than that.
If you can not spend enough time to get to know your children and their likes and dislikes, you are doing something wrong.
If your children flee and hide when they know you are home, you are doing something wrong.
If you have never looked your child in the eye and professed a word or two of love and pride, you are doing something wrong!
There is more to life than being the man the society wants us to be, it’s high time we became the men our family needs us to be.
As a man the first thing on your mind should be self development.
A man who works on his character and recognises his flaws tends to overcome these flaws and finds ways to make up for it.
Most African men tend to have too much ego for their own good.
They are taught to be strong, never to display any form of weakness but the truth is most of them are fighting demons that, more often than not, reflect on their daily lives.
They are pressured into believing that the hard man is the perfect man. They are taught that the man who bears the weight of the world without flinching is the real man.
This foolish idea tends to create monsters instead of men. Monsters who are driven by pride, ego and anger. Monsters who believe the world begins and ends at their say so – after all, they have the world riding in the crook of their necks.
The most painful thing about this is that the boys who learn this folly grow into men seeing this foolishness as truth and they pass this monster breeding wisdom on to their sons who pass it down to their own sons.
Thus, the vicious cycle continues as monsters beget monsters.
We need to have an introspection of ourselves and be better not just for our sakes but for our seeds unborn.
I choose to break the cycle. I was raised by a monster, but I will not raise one.