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The perfect male role model is not one person, it’s a growing list of attributes.
“Ok students, draw a picture of your family like the one I have on the board’’ were the instructions given by Mrs Allen, my nice nice grade one teacher sometime during my first week of primary school. I loved drawing, so I finished my work very quickly. Feeling proud of my masterpiece, I eagerly shouted: “teacher, teacher me finish, look!”. Now People, to my surprise the teacher took one glance at my best work and said it wrong!
I was so confused that Mrs Allen sat down with me at my desk to ask me a few questions. She knew my mother well enough to know that she is a very dedicated single Christian woman. So, it’s either the picture wrong or “tings a gwaan a yaad”. She asked me who is the man in the drawing? I replied “my big brother Clayton”. Mrs Allen responded quietly “No, Shane, if he is your brother then he can’t be your father too. How could this be? I remembered her saying that everybody has a mother and a father. So, I asked her, “Who is my father?” “You should ask your mother”, she replied. I will never forget how sad she looked when she realized that I didn’t know my father. This is the first time I can remember wondering, who is my father? where is he?
You are probably wondering how a five-year-old didn’t notice before now, that his father was absent from home. Honestly, my family felt complete. Also, up until this point I was somewhat homeschooled. Technically, my mother was the principal and teacher at the kindergarten school I attended; I felt like it was just an extension of my home. Therefore, mom had the opportunity to hide me from all matters father related. She delayed the inevitable for as long she could.
FIRST ROLE MODEL
While other boys wanted to be like their father, I wanted to be like my brother. My brother is my only sibling and we were born an impressive 16 years apart. So, he was quite literally my big brother. Clayton was my first male role model. I remember I would get super happy whenever he comes home. Clayton has this contagious positive energy that uplift spirits. I aspired to be positive like him. While growing up, Clayton was the strongest man I knew. He was always fit, shredded, like a real-life Goku. He would often put me high upon his shoulders, up there I was invincible! It seemed like Big bro was the best at everything. The local football team referred to him as “Di Teacha”, they all looked up to him. Plus, he cooked the best meals! Clayton was the definition of cool in my eyes. I am most grateful for how he advised me as his little brother. He would frequently make time to reason with me, gave valuable life tips, and taught me how to avoid mistakes. Clayton never allowed anyone to belittle or disrespect him, no one. My big brother taught me how to stand up for myself. So, thank you, brother.
I’m not saying my brother didn’t have any flaws, he is not a perfect man, nor am I, no one is. Therefore, a man should always aim to improve himself. Set daily goals to ensure that at the end of each day, he is stronger, wiser, better.
WHO IS A REAL MAN?
A real man is what he aspires to be, not what society says he is. I thought to myself. Then, what type of man should I aspire to be? And how do I know that the man I want to be is good? To answer these questions, I analyzed the qualities of whom I consider great people. Eventually, I noticed that they all share similar attributes. So, I made those attributes my core values.
A real man accepts responsibility for his actions instead of blaming others. He does not blame his reality on his circumstances, but rather accepts his reality. He is man enough to admit when he is wrong and say I’m sorry to whom he has wronged.
A real man has ambition, he dares to dream and pursue his goals with all his will. He does not settle for mediocrity. Theodore Roosevelt nailed it when he said. “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious victories, though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits that neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”
A real man is confident in himself and his ability to succeed. His self-confidence is so strong that it inspires others to believe in him. He is assertive, defends his beliefs and what’s right. However, he is not overconfident, nor is he arrogant.
A real man is trustworthy, he keeps his promises. He does not intentionally deceive or manipulates others for selfish reasons. He is honest to himself and accepts the truth of his reality. He doesn’t deny it or tries to run from it.
A real man never gives up, never says I can’t, instead, he thinks critically of ways to achieve his goals. He is man enough to know that it takes hard work to achieve meaningful things in life. He works smart, able to anticipate and solve problems. Knowing that “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
A real man learns valuable lessons from his mistakes and takes steps to prevent them from recurring. Smart enough to know why he has two eyes, two ears and only one mouth, meaning he looks & listens more than he talks. Furthermore, he educates himself more than he entertains himself. So that when he speaks it’s worth listening to. Wise enough to solve his problems amicably.
A real man is hopeful and happy; He understands that life is what you make of it. Therefore, he doesn’t let failures keep him down, but rather remains faithful. He inspires others to be strong.
A real man is helpful. He is quick to help others when in a position to do so. He knows the value of building a better community. Afterall, “Life isn’t about getting and having, it’s about giving and being…” – Kevin Kruse
A real man is smart enough to solve problems without the use of violence, directly or indirectly placing his family and loved ones in danger. I knew a grandmother who lost all her sons and grandchildren. Why? Well, the men in her family thought that the only way to solve a particular problem was to kill the person responsible. So, they did, and the other family returned the favour. In the end, both families suffered. Revenge can be a deadly cycle. Do not add to it, be a real man, end it.
A real man adds value to the lives of others around him. He shares his knowledge and experience. He knows to help future generations continue building on his accomplishments. He listens carefully to others and provides useful advice.
A real man acknowledges his emotions, correctly identifies and expresses them. By doing this, he can perceive the emotions of others and communicate appropriately. He is man enough to deal with rejection and loss in a healthy way.
A real man is not afraid to express his love and affection for others. He is man enough to speak from his heart. He is strong enough to forgive and love someone who has wronged him rather than carry a grudge, festering hate. He is sexually confident, a generous endowment of pleasure.
A real man has respect for everyone. He is not unjust nor prejudiced, he is fair and treats everyone equally. A real man respects women, He knows better than to participate in catcalling. Knows that a woman is priceless. He understands that she is not his property or an object for his amusement. He appreciates women’s natural beauty, their love and compassion. He would never physically hurt women, he protects women and children allowing them to feel safe and free.
A real man values family, He doesn’t go around arrogantly spilling his seed for sport and his ego; He nurtures it where conditions are favourable for a family. He knows that maintaining a family requires hard work. Therefore, he will support his family through difficult times, not run away. A real man puts his family above himself at all times, he will protect it to his last breath.
A real man protects what he loves. He is a protector of women and children, never thinking to abuse them verbally, physically, sexually or in any way. He would never intentionally hurt them.
A real man is independent, he also provides for his family even if it means making sacrifices. He is decisive, resourceful and leads his family to success.
A real man knows that working for money is good, but to have money working for him is even better. He knows the value of owning a business, investing and insurance; how to build and maintain wealth. More importantly, he ensures that said wealth will be inherited by his children.
Did you know that the aforementioned attributes are not only present in men? Many outstanding women have these powerful qualities. Women like my mother, her strength enabled her to raise two young men on her own. Therefore, anyone who upholds these core values is exceptional!
There is always room for improvement, so if there is an attribute that I failed to mention please feel free to add it in the comments below.
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