To be a Man

Real men.

Men who could look you in the face, and stand firm on their feet. Who spoke truly and who held fast. Who could fight fiercely, but would cradle gently. Steadfast men, with clear eyes and frank mouths. Men who could love, and who could be brave.

Where did they go? Perhaps they never were. Perhaps it was all nothing more than a dream, an ideal.

But ordinary folk, quivering guys, could still dream of heroes. An ideal lives on, even in the broken shards, as long as the heart (however broken) still beats.

Now that seems… well .. gone. Nowadays, guys don’t even want to be men. They don’t even think about it. The ideal isn’t even in their consciousness. They don’t even know — they don’t even know what they don’t know. They are just guys who will always be guys.

I’m not talking about guys addicted to videogames or booze or porn, who burp loudly and make semi-racist comments. I’m talking about the religious guys, conservative guys, guys who pat themselves quietly on the back… for being … a guy who is a little less offensive, a guys who is a little less of a jackass. The self-acknowledged nice guy, the guy of integrity.

Everyone seems to have forgotten what it means to be a man.

To be willing… to be a fanatic and a fool… to be madly in in love with truth, though it’s a hurricane that will knock you breathless. Maybe even a pillar of fire. Perhaps it will fry you like a 1000 volts. To be willing to suffer. To be willing to look like an idiot for the sake of reason, to be drunk with logic, to look human nature squarely in the face (even the tangled coils in the dark corners of your own heart), to have faith that it will be worth it, it will be worth searching out (despite its bitter cost) Truth.

To love the True, the Good, and the Beautiful more than you love yourself. To accept what people are, in all their shabbiness and frailty, and to treasure them anyway (including yourself). To be gentle with them.

To love people more than you love people’s love for you. To love people more than you love the idea of you loving people. To love them. Just them.

To embrace that you yourself are Nothing. And Everything. A small creature in a big universe, dark but ringed with enormous burning stars. To stand in it, and to know exactly what you are. Dearer than God’s Blood, and with absolutely nothing to prove. Just everything to love.

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