These days I feel that men have taken a downturn. I think that oftentimes’s modern men have become less manly. Let me say this: when I say being “manly” I do not mean being emotionless, axe wielding and beard growing “men”. At the same time, in some few ways I am. At the risk of looking and sounding cliché and stereotypical, I would challenge you to look at the T.V. show Parks and Rec. In it, there are two characters, Ron Swanson and Tom Haverford. Ron is quintessentially manly. Tough, strong, private, mustachioed, handy and gruff, he is in every way a “man”. Tom Haverford is vapid, small, conniving, unfaithful, selfish, hairless and foppish. He is the opposite of Ron, a boy. These are obviously fictional stereotypes, and very exaggerated, but if I were to ask you which type of man you knew more of, I would hazard an educated guess that you would know more Toms than Rons. While I’m not saying that you must be like Ron to be a man, I am saying that I feel as though there are far more boys than men in modern America. Also, while I am not saying you must be like Ron to be a man, I am saying that a lot of real men are.
I think it boils down to selflessness, respect and values. I feel strongly that so many boys in modern America live without a strong set of values or a sense of selflessness. I so often see men live for themselves and live in a way that best suits whatever strikes their fancy at that moment. They roll with fads, trends and live at the mercy of what they think will get the furthest fastest, whether that be with girls, jobs, friends or otherwise. Men know what they believe in and stand up for it. I also firmly believe that men are tough and boys are not. You do not need to be emotionless to be tough. Some of the toughest men I know are some of the most emotional, but being in touch with ones emotions does not at all preclude you from toughness. Toughness is about taking what life, physically or otherwise, throws at you and maintaining who and what you are and what you are doing. Being a man, not a boy, is not some weird physical standard of beards, muscles and lumber. Rather, it is a state of being a tough, present, value driven individual who does good by others and stands by his honor.
All that being said, so many men these days worry more about their fashion than they do their strength, and instead of taking a punch, they take two hours to get ready. It’s ok to be a “manly man”. There are very few of them left