BETTER PART 3: A LETTER TO MEN
I celebrated 43 years of living on this earth in May and I don’t claim to know it all. In fact, by this age I would say that I know very little and there’s still so much to learn. But I’ve lived long enough and been through enough that I feel I can give good counsel and advice to others, much of that through learning from my own successes and of course my own mistakes.
This “Better” series that I’ve been writing comes from a lot of reflecting and a desire to share what I’ve been learning, hoping that maybe it can help a few. This morning I wanted to write to men and offer encouragement to not only be better father’s, son’s, friends, and mates, but to simply be better men. One thing that we don’t do regularly as men is encourage other men. Women do this naturally because it’s part of their design, to care, love, share and open up to one another. The thought of doing this as men comes with reservations and not wanting to be “gay”. Sorry, but it’s true, most men don’t spend time building each other up because it doesn’t feel masculine. However, I would say that some of the best counsel that I’ve received to date has been from a few male friends who stepped up when I needed them most, and much of that only came after I chose to open up to them first.
What’s funny is that if asked what kind of man not to be, we could all recall that one guy that treated his girlfriend like shit in public or the one that everyone felt was always being an asshole or douche bag. Those are easy to spot and yes, very good examples of how not to be, but I also see lots of good examples and it’s those that I want to pull from this morning.
BE THAT GUY
I know that social media, Facebook and Instagram only gives us snapshots of people’s lives and we may only be seeing the “good” or people at their “best”, but that’s OK. I have a younger friend who I’ve known since the mid 90’s who is a single dad and one of the most encouraging things that I see on a daily basis is how much he loves his son. I would have to say that he loves the hell out of his little boy and it’s very obvious. I have no kids of my own, but I want to be that guy, the guy that invests in family and those that matter most. The guy that wants to be a good example to his kid and raise a solid young man. I want to be the guy that knows what is right and does it. I want to be the guy that other men look up to as a leader, someone that others want to follow who know will give good counsel if and when needed.
I want to be the guy that speaks up for truth when he has to and isn’t ashamed to stand for what’s right. The guy that won’t act like an asshole in an effort to impress his friends or put his friends before his family. I want to be the guy that puts others first, who will always be ready to give the shirt off of his back to someone in need. The guy that wears his heart on his sleeve and isn’t afraid to express himself or admit when he needs help. I want to be the guy that isn’t ashamed to cry during a good movie or chick flick. Haha. I want to be the guy that opens her door and pulls out her chair at dinner. I want to be the guy that makes her feel safe and secure who no other man can get to. The guy that makes her feel like a queen or the guy that always makes her feel like first place. The guy that lifts her up and not tears her down. The guy that loves unconditionally and never gives up. I want to be the guy that others look up to and not down on. The guy that is upright, who may not be perfect, but who others will refer to as a “stand up guy”. I want to be the guy that isn’t afraid to admit his mistakes and learns from them, who falls but gets right back up and tries again, harder. I want to be that guy, that man that leaves his mark on the world and on those around him. I want to lead, not follow, but if I have to follow I want to follow other men that are going somewhere.
I just want to be that guy who may not have all of his “shit together”, but is doing the best he can with what he has. I want to change the world and rather than do it alone, I want to do it with others who also want to “be that guy”.
Lift each other up today men. Be strong. Be great examples. Love on your family. Give your girlfriend or wife long, strong hugs and kisses and make them feel safe. Get up early and make them coffee and breakfast tacos or get to Chickfila. Hold your kids a little longer this morning. Be great today. Be that guy that people will remember as awesome and nothing less. Be better than you were yesterday.