Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Makings of a Man...

The Makings of a Man...


Every mother’s dream is to raise her son into a man. That objective, army service and a little help from fate is what is needed to accomplish her goal. However, army is service no longer compulsory, life doesn’t easily offer the most favourable (or unfavourable) circumstances and there is very time available for a mother to educate her boy into a man. Most of the male population of today rarely develop into full grown men.
Although they may be better groomed or better looking than their predecessors, they lack the mental and emotional development to handle the role of caregivers and providers that nature calls for. As women develop their leadership skills into becoming the providers of a family, I watch the male race allow their roles to be taken over without a fight.

I often read and write about the great accomplishments of being and becoming a woman. She is the multitasked, a mother, a sister, a friend, a career woman etc.
We often blind our attentions to the difficult task of being a man either because we’re too busy commending women on their efforts or because nowadays, we see so few men fulfilling their roles. Most of my male friends excel in virtues: the colleague, the listener, the fun loving guy, the dancer, the cowboy, the intellectual, the professional… however much they excel at their best abilities, I cannot consider them full grown men. To me, to be a man, it takes more than just possessing qualities and virtues…

I got a call this week from a friend I hadn’t heard from in a while. On catching up, it’s customary to ask about each other’s love life. I was disappointed, but not surprised that my friend is once again single after dumping a two week relationship. Notorious for dating girls endowed for modelling careers, he forgets that the kind of lifestyle that these girls live obliges them to see life a certain way… or not see life a certain way.
When I asked him why he’d broken up with the latest, he answered me that she wasn’t what he was looking for. What is it he looking for? – Miss Congeniality. Unfortunately somebody must’ve forgotten to warn him that Miss Congeniality does not come in the size and proportions that a super model comes in. The Miss Congeniality he is dreaming of can only be found beauty pageants (and that’s when she’s in front of the camera!). I told my friend that to find the girl he was looking for, he’d have to go to Toys ´R Us and look in the Barbie section.

Truth hurts and although my friend was humoured by my comment, somewhere deep down I believe that he honestly can’t deny that he can’t scratch past the surface of a woman. Of course men look for something more, we all look for a deeper meaning, something that touches base with our souls, but people (both men and women) have become superficial, losing touch with what really matters and not being able to see beyond the surface.

A true man can find the diamond in the rough. Even when it is invisible to the naked eye, he knows to trust his instincts that it exists and can be found. Patience is a virtue that will help him find it and faith keeps him trying until he does. A true man or woman is that because he or she has the insight to see beyond, and to see that which is right in front of him. He sees beauty where others overlook it and potential when others feel that all hope is lost. This is not to be mistaken for ambition for not only does he see the beauty and the pure but also the ugly and destructive. Yet, he chooses not to compromise or overlook reality. Instead he chooses not to turn his face from the ugly so that he may see the beauty as well.

A true man accepts reality for what it is, embraces its magnificence and respects its cruelty. He knows what he wants, because he knows what it is that he doesn’t. Searching for answers, he listens to advice and the words of the experienced though he makes his own decisions. He takes responsibility for his decisions, fully aware that every decision holds a consequence. He knows that every choice, every risk and every gain results in the loss of something. Keeping this in mind, our man faces the world with both determination and tenderness… for he knows the effort it takes to conquer the world and at the same time, appreciate its beauty and magnificence. As he worships life, so will he worship a woman in the same way. This is the person we all search for… the kind that knows, recognises and loves our flaws as much as our virtues. Isn’t it a pity that these men and women are virtually extinct?

People often fall in love with a person’s potential rather than the person’s being. We see what they are capable of, and fool ourselves into believing that it is that which they have already developed. This potential is easily visible by children for they are the ones that search for the better in people. However, as we grow older, this vision of potential can often prove disappointing and many of us choose to stop seeing the potential as we regard it for nothing more than an illusion. Those that keep looking beyond what a person is to what a person can be are considered to be either naïve or dreamers.

As a proud dreamer, I know that believing in someone is to risk high disappointment. Having potential does not necessarily mean fulfilling it. Often I am tempted to loose my faith but doing so would be an even bigger torture to my soul as my eyes would stop seeing the colours and contours in the world. So I keep faith even when hope seems to burn a fading flame. One of my dying beliefs is the existence of a man inside of a male… Today, I’m once again a believer.

I met this kid who played the guitar. Not only did he play it with soul and passion, he gave all his dedication to his musical instrument, transforming his deepest soulful thoughts into lyrical poetry. Seeing the world through his eyes and through his music was like looking through a pair of glasses that suddenly made the world around you clear and non-fuzzy. Inspired by his zest for life, one of my favourite memories is singing while he played his guitar. Looking at him I saw the potential within. I saw the musician and philosopher that he could become and the successful man that someday could make a woman happy. I saw a man in the making and I feared for his soul.
I feared that life would break his glasses and take away the vision he had of the world. I feared that the obstacles that life presented him with might shadow optimism and dampen his enthusiasm. I prayed that he’d always look at the world, people and women, the way he saw them then… with fascination, appreciation and respect. Above all, I begged life to keep intact his immense power and ability to love. I prayed that he would always have the ability to find love and beauty in everything he did and discovered.

It wouldn’t have been strange or surprising to have met a different person two years down the line. After all, time moulds us into the reality in which we need to face. He has less time for the guitar now and lives to study for a future career. Choosing a very technical and scientific field, it would not be strange that his thoughts and speech would now concentrate in his ambitions. And although all this is positive evolution, this area of life that he chose often involves changing the way he envisions the world.

I have no choice but to believe when the boy I once knew presents himself as a man in the making. Maturity is evident; however I find it incredible that his vision in the world has remained unaltered! Evolved – but unaltered. Life has not been able to cloud his visions of the world even though they may have become more difficult to accept. This man in the making still finds meaning in lyrics, therapy in music and beauty in everything he sees. I could not help but be impressed if not thankful and relieved. This is the kind of evolution I want for my little brother and I wondered if his mother was as proud of him as I was now that I speak to a mature man in the making…

To me a man (or a woman) is person who never stops believing. Because if there is hope, then there is always something to belief in and as long as there is something to believe in, there is never a reason to give up or raise a white flag. The intelligent man searches for answers and logic, the wise man searches for potential and transforms dreams and ideas into reality. Today I believe that out there are men in the making… and that mine is somewhere under construction or finding his way into our fate.

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