What It Takes To Be A "Real Man" (From The Voice Of A 19 Year Old)
Now I know what you're thinking when you see this headline. "A real man? Who is he to say what a real man is?" "He's only 19 years old? What does he know? He's still so young!" I'm going to stop you right there with this one sentence. A "real man" is whoever you want it to be. There is no set of guidelines that you have to follow to be a "real man." Some may say, "Well what about being strong? Never crying? Owning luxurious things? Being muscular? Having a nice woman in your life?" To those people, I ask you, how do you define something as being manly in the first place? What about those men who are not physically strong, men who are comfortable showing emotion, men who do not have a lot of money, men who are not muscular, men who are not straight but identify themselves as gay. Does that make them any less of a man compared to the next guy? With today's society, a lot of people would think, yes. On Father's Day, I'm here to set a new norm and share the things that I think create not only a "great man", but a great human being.
Now I don't mean physical strength. Someone's manliness is not determined by how much they can lift. What makes a great man is someone who is strong, emotionally. The man who sits with his wife, husband, or loved one as they go through chemotherapy. The man who knows money is tight but always tries his hardest to make ends meet. The man who continues to fight through depression or a point in his life, even when things get rough. You see, you don't need to be physically strong to be a "real man." Their are many other forms of strength to show.
Be Open To Emotion
With strength comes emotion too. Not all people can remain emotionally strong their entire lives. Eventually, some people break down. Some people lose a family member, a pet, a loved one, and can't hold that in. Us men hear it all the time growing up, "Don't cry. Suck it up and be a man!" The worst thing about that statement is that we are told at a young age that showing emotion is an unattractive and unmanly characteristic to have. Being a man doesn't mean suppressing all emotion. What makes an attractive human being is someone who is comfortable with their emotions and someone who is open to showing them in times of trial. Life gets hard sometimes and it's ok to show that. This doesn't just apply to men, but to men and women both.
Emotionally and physically, just be there. If someone is relying on you for emotional strength in a time of need, be there for them. Nothing is better than a person who listens, shows up, and gives their all to a person no matter who that person may be. Don't be the person who listens to respond. Be the person who listens to understand. The person who listens to help. The person who is always there and the shows up when they say they will be.
Admitting when you were wrong in an argument, knowing you've made a mistake that needs to be corrected, taking responsibility instead of placing blame on others. Whether it be