During childhood most parents challenge their sons with statements meant to shape them into men. I remember my parents telling me that boys are not supposed to beat girls. Even when my sisters offended me I refrained myself from beating them. My uncles used to tell us that boys don’t cry.
It was therefore considered a weakness if a boy cried. We could not quarrel because we had been told that only women do that.
Heavy works like fetching water, splitting firewood, carrying logs and many others were meant for men. This is how society and families curved men out of the boys we were. They were giving the true definition of a man.
Men are defined by pride, power and dominancy. Most men think this is a man’s world. Their faith in power, influence and control makes them feel they own the world. It is therefore their responsibility to manage and control all other creations including women.
It is not surprising, therefore, that these men think that women are flowers to be plucked. Ever heard of a man saying, “Girl, shut up and listen when I’m talking to you!”? In this kind of world Women are silent flowers waiting for their colors to be interpreted by men. Obviously this is the unfair belief about this kind of world.
The first quality of men is that they respond. Of course it takes discipline, patience, and maturity to filter oneself and think about others before one responds. A response requires thought, meta-cognition while a reaction is instinctual. Boys react but men respond.
Secondly, men look inward first. They are willing to examine their defects. They practice transparency and non-defensiveness. They express how they feel. They don’t try to be someone they’re not.
By walking with a mirror, they don’t get caught up in heated arguments. They handle confrontations by acknowledging, taking responsibility, and making choices. And they move forward, changed.
True men always have a cause. They always have something worth fighting for. It doesn’t have to be to end world hunger. It can be to save a marriage or fighting for one’s position in life. A man will fight for something he believes in, even if others don’t. Whether it’s one’s character or an empire, men build but boys deconstruct.
Above all this, men take action while boys only complain. If you make a decision to stop complaining when things don’t go your way in life, you have become a man. Many habits like complaining and losing one’s temper stem from undisciplined thinking and the inability to manage emotions.
However, all these traits have put man at a higher risk than their female counterparts. Societal pressure has forced men to be capable even when some are not. It is not acceptable for a man to simply exist. He must be a person who does things.
The pressure to always be ready for action causes him to attempt those things which he is unqualified or unskilled with. This leads to failure, which makes him to consider himself less than a man. It is not surprising that men are far more likely to die of stress related illnesses than women. Brimming with insecurities and unmet needs will drive men to despair, and this is why they are also more likely to commit suicide.