I always like to add a picture to my rants and wonderings. Why? I don't know, because I can, I guess. Well, I've had a series of experiences lately that has me really thinking about the world in which we live and our values. The kicker was reading Scottie's blog today, which should be titled "Congratulations. It's a boy!" but, he doesn't let me title is posts, which is quite wise. I do encourage you to read it if you have not already: http://scottiestoybox.com/2011/12/13/changes-in-our-life/ Well, to make a long story short.... Scottie and Ron, and James, are all the final inspiration for this post. So, this picture, though not quite in line with the post idea, still seems perfect to me.
Let me begin by giving you some history of this thought process....and that is going to be kinda easy as you just need to scroll back in the blog a bit. You will see postings on unfairly prosecuting people for a physical disease, making war on women and children in the name of one's god because the fit the rough description on a label, sacrificing one's ethics and integrity to lie and deceive, and last in the last few is for discrimination and alienation from a basis of fear....
Having noticed in passing those posts there, I'd like to tell you about a small cat, likely pregnant, that has been hanging around our shop as the weather has gotten colder and colder.... A little brown calico type, with the most expressive eyes and a purr to marvel General Motors, this little lady has been our daily visitor over the last couple of weeks, especially on cold nights. I've kept the door open a bit, watching for her to slide near and absorb the warmth coming through. We give her scraps of our lunch, finding that she really isn't into french fries but will turn somersaults, well almost, for a slice of turkey or ham. She loves to be scratched behind the ears.... Well, rumor has it that the reason I've not seen her for a day or two is that the maintenance man kicked her. A small, cold, pregnant little cat just trying to find a bit of warmth and humanity....sought it from one who evidently had none.
Now, did you read Scotties post?
here is my question, the reason and title for this post....
What does it mean to be a man?
When some talk about men, real men, they think on John Wayne. The rough, can handle it, ride off into the sunset type as those who need him run behind calling out "Shane...". And, even, they see gay men as the very absence, the very antithesis of manhood.... but I wonder why?
So, in my little demonstrations from these past posts, my experiences today, and Scottie's wonderful post, I truly begin to realize that our world has lost the understanding of what it means to be a man, as we are populated and led by selfish little boys...
Let me begin with this issue today: What could I do? I didn't see the jerk kick the cat, but am going on rumor and story... which truly is unfair. And yet, he's done similar before - which leads me to believe it to be true. So, I ask myself; What sort of man is it who would hurt such a small creature so trusting of him? I realize, that is no man at all; that is just a very old little boy still burning ants with his magnifier glass and pulling the wings off flies.
How about the story just prior where prosecutors are persecuting hiv+ men and labeling them "domestic terrorists"? Are they at all fair, compassionate, reasonable? How about wise, ethical, or decent?
Then we have the wars in the Middle East. Clan upon clan, faith upon faith, and in the end their divisions are so very small. For sake of being right, being the ones first in line, they would kill countrymen, and worse, women and children. Is that honorable? Is this what a warrior for a god is now?
Or, how about discriminating against others?
- how about selling out one's career code?
We could go on and on, but in the end we come to two men. Gay men. Some on the far right, like one of these recent posts - Michelle Bachman - would say are not entitled to the very rights of others. Some would say they are gay, and therefore not really the "man's man", ironically. But, in all the things I've experienced these past few days have brought me crashing down to see Scottie and Ron as the very definition of manhood. They exemplify things that declare a mature man:
First: Stepping forward to help. (read the story)...but going on to remember, that the definition of Dad is far different from that of father. It takes a man to be a Dad!
Compassion. Caring for others. Seeking fairness and decency in all things. Holding to one's morals and convictions. Looking past labels and seeing the person. Humility, humor, and humanity...which makes one a triple hummer, right? What have I missed?..........
Friends, I don't know where things are going in our world. I don't understand a great deal of the things that I see. For instance, I don't understand the ability to lie and deceive necessary to be a politician, the need for it even. I don't understand the drive to use people, to wound, all for temporary gain of a few voters who somehow find that sort of thing enticing and worthy of a leader. I know Scottie isn't perfect, and I know Ron doesn't have a big S on his chest.....does he?..... But, in this world of braggarts and liars, 15-minutes-of-famers, users, abusers, and thieves, all begging for our attention every week, isn't so very nice to hear this wonderful little story of two men who care? It really made my day to say "Now there are a pair of MEN!".
I am so proud to know them. In their willingness to be Dads, they have given this rainy day a bit of sunshine for me. They give me hope. But perhaps most, they offer, quite humbly, a model for me to strive towards to be a good man one day.