"Knowing others is wisdom; Knowing the self is enlightenment. Mastering others requires force; Mastering the self needs strength." - Lao Tsu
We men are manipulated into thinking we need to prove our manhood by conquering others through material possessions and titles. We strive to appear wise and forceful to the world in hopes the world will validate us as real men. We can't find that from the world, and only our strength allowing us to hold on to what's right will give us the enlightenment to validate ourselves. I don't want to be number one. As much as your comment means to me Stevie, I want all men to awaken from our disillusionment of what it means to be a man...and see with great clarity our true power to effect powerful love and positive change onto the world. We are physically strong for a reason.....not to destroy other men but to embrace and uplift all those around us....and to stop others from hurting and destroying the innocent ...yet the power of a woman is just as great, able to take a man who has let her in his heart and either crush him to the ground or give him wings of grandeur........and vice-versa for women who love a man....We all are equally important to each other......So very equally important
Then I read a post by Tarringo (I Hear You Crying) and realized what a real man he is. He is also gay. But how can a real man be gay? That goes against long-held traditional beliefs. A "man" is what society has told us it is, and we men strive to become that.
But no matter what your personal beliefs are, it matters that your beliefs come from a higher level of thinking.
I've encountered many men who spend their lives being tough guys, rich guys, sensitive guys, sexy guys and martyrs in an attempt to have the world, and more specifically women, tell them they are "men".
There's nothing wrong with any of these things by themselves. They're all great and should be developed in an attempt to become whole. But when they're pursued as an attempt to seek validation for one's manhood they become misleading.
The reason for this rant is that at times other men see me as threatening to their own manhood. Instead of becoming friends and encouraging each other to become our highest selves, they try to make me their enemy. I have no time to prove I'm more of a man than anyone else. And when you tell me you're going to kick my ass or kill me, you better do it, because I'm going to be more of a man by challenging you to be one too after you fail.
(student pictue removed)
Children are dying, women are being abused and men who don't do those things are spending their energy and talents not trying to stop it, but trying to prove they're more of a man than others. We spend our entire lives trying to prove we are better by having a better car, better wife, better job, better children, better income, better looking, better sensitivity, better heart, etc, etc, etc.
People are dying, people are being abused, and we "men" are so busy proving we're men that we can't hear the crying:
She brought you into this life
To love, to guide, and to Nurture
But the day she was taken from your world
Made living without her such torture
Looking down at her tombstone keeps the pain multiplying
I hear you crying
You still remember when you were five
The morning you woke up without her there
Leaving you in a world you did not select
With a pain inside filled with neglect
….. now motherless
You have to find a way to keep on trying
I hear you crying
You watched her stick needles in her arm
A mental abuse that brought you much harm
And the day she refused to seek help
Had you hopeless and feeling all alone
Sometimes you just feel like dying
I hear you crying
You remember every time he touched you
As a little girl you couldn't help but wonder
Why she would ever doubt you and refuse
To believe you suffered the sexual abuse
You turned to a life of prostitution and lying
I hear you crying.
©Copyright 10/07 Tarringo T. Vaughan
A Dawgmatic View Original
I believe this poet is a real man, because he can hear the crying, and is doing something about it through his poetry. I mean it when I call him my brother. I also mean it when things are "too bad", they are TOO BAD TO ALLOW TO CONTINUE, and must be stopped.
I'm not welcome in certain neighborhoods I go into to talk to parents who abuse their children or look for former students who have gone astray. I've even been told that if I ever come back I'm not leaving alive.
(student picture removed)
Well I can hear the crying, and guess where I got this MLK shirt?
Just as more hate cannot drive out hate, more violence cannot drive out violence. But violence is a reality throughout human history. And maybe it can serve a purpose. So I send out this challenge to my fellow man, the same challenge I give myself at 3am every day.
Today, be man enough to be more of a man than you were yesterday.
(student picture removed)
If you are threatened by another man, stop and think why he threatens you. Check your beliefs as to what it means to be a man, and look again to see with the eyes of a real man.
If someone has something you want, be happy for him that he developed talents that allowed him to get it, and spend your energy developing talents that will produce the same results.
If someone has beliefs that you don't want, see that your own beliefs aren't born from ignorance, and befriend him to better understand what his beliefs are.
And if you take on another man or even threaten him with violence, and he defeats you, don't get up and say you're coming back with more men, more guns, more lawyers, etc to do what you could not do.
YOU COME BACK MORE OF A MAN!
With more of a heart. More of a mind. More of a purpose in life than to protect your fragile sense of what it means to be a man that you're threatened by others who are different or better than you.
You become strong enough to stop being threatened by those who are different. Replace your ignorance with intelligence and learn the color of one's skin, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, etc have very little to do with what makes a man different than others.
Become man enough to stop being threatened by others who are better than you. Rid yourself of the desire to try to find faults and instead focus on where he IS better than you are. See him as a mentor, professionally or personally. You will find that you are better than he is at something, and he in turn can learn from you.
Everyone around us is better than we are at something.....Let's open up and learn from them.
We are better than everyone else around us at something...Let's share and teach them.
And let's make sure that what we admire in others really matters in the end. And let's make sure that our own talents really matter in the end.
Being a real man can be real hard and even real dangerous. It can get you hurt...and it can get you killed. But the reality is that thousands of innocent people are getting hurt and killed every day.
For 167,000 worldwide, today is their last day. If I'm among those today, I will not go out wasting my time worrying that someone else appears better than me, paining over past injustices, or being afraid of a tomorrow that may never come....Instead, I will focus all my efforts on being unafraid to live fully today by bettering myself and all those I come in contact with.
James died at 24. MLK at 39. I'm 40, and plan on living till 400. But I do know death is coming for me. Once a week I have to avoid a high-speed motorcycle crash into the car swerving into my lane. Last week I went home with chest pains and had to fight the fear of memories of a heart attack sidelined me five years ago.
But instead of being afraid of death, I plan on punching it in the face every time it comes for me. Death is not scary, being afraid to live is.
The man not afraid to kill is dangerous, but not scary. He can be defeated, and then enlightened.
The man not afraid to kill or die is both dangerous and scary, because he has nothing to lose. It is more difficult to defeat him, and even more difficult to enlighten him, so he must be loved, and given something to live for before he can be enlightened.
The man who won't kill, who has everything to live for, and is still unafraid to die....is special.....because he is real. And it is this man who has a real chance to make real positive changes in the world.
Today is very special. The only thing that matters, life, has been given to us. We must make it special by being more than we have ever been before. What stopped us in the past, fears, anger, bitterness, hurt....cannot be allowed to stop us today. We must live today as if we have been given ONE MORE CHANCE TO BECOME EVERYTHING WE'VE ALWAYS WANTED.....BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN THAT ONE MORE CHANCE.....TODAY!
I'm looking at a picture above my desk of James Dean getting into his car moments before he died in a crash. It's the last thing I'll look at before saying goodbye to Shanghai and heading to "work", or what I call, "You mean I spend my day making children smarter, happier and stronger...and I get paid to do it?"
We don't know when our day will come. But we do know that THIS DAY HAS COME, and another chance to start fresh, to become everything we've always wanted....and for us men....a chance to BECOME MORE of a MAN....and help this WORLD to become MORE.