As I approach forty and my son enters the summer before high school, I’ve become reflective on myself as a man and what kind of man my son is growing into.
The other day I caught myself saying to him, “this is what a man should do.”
So what exactly in today’s world does it mean to be a good man? There isn’t any official definition and yet I do believe there are principles that any male who wants to be viewed as a good man should abide by.
A good man realizes that his world is full of people different than him and he accepts them all. The ones who anger him, he moves beyond and lets them do their thing. He gives respect to all who earn it and helps those who asks. He accepts his responsibilities and makes the most of the life he has been given.
An honest man sticks by his word. If he says he is going to do something, it gets done. A handshake and a knowing nod is enough to seal a deal and no more should be needed.
A smart man knows that he’ll never understand everything around him. He should learn the basics of the objects in his life and accept that if he can’t fix them with his own hands, he knows who to contact whenever troubles arise.
A respectful man says please, thank you, and good morning every day. When someone sneezes he knows what to say. A door will be held, a seat given up or an assisting hand given whenever a woman or someone senior to him is in his presence.
A wise man knows that he’ll never know it all. He keeps wondering and wandering so that he is always learning new things. He reads, watches and shares so that others can learn along side him.
A loving man is comfortable being romantic in public. To those that he loves, he showers them with compliments and reminders of his devotion every day. Hugs are the currency of his house and his partner will never question where they stand in his world.
A giving man knows that there will always be people in the world having a harder day than he is. Finding a way to give back in their community and be socially responsible to the world around them is a part of who they are. He will volunteer, teach or help in other ways when the time is right and donate to the causes he finds important.
A lucky man is the one who is blessed with children and accepts that his life is no longer his own. He loves his role as a father and insures that he loves and teaches his children to grow into the type of people he respects. His priorities shift and everything he does from that moment forward is to provide for the family he has been given.
Being a man is a great thing. I hope I’ve grown into the man that my father hoped I would become. I know my son will grow in the right direction. If not, it is my failure and not his.
Happy Father’s Day.