What does it mean to be a good person in today’s world? The answer to this age-old question has become increasingly complex as traditional gender roles have given way to a more fluid landscape. The traditional concept of masculinity, with its stereotypical attributes of stoicism, physical strength and dominance, is being questioned and redefined. While past generations had clearly defined expectations for men and women, the modern era has ushered in a wave of progress, challenging patriarchy and promoting gender equality. However, this transformation has forced many young men to struggle with their roles in society. Do they need to know how to cook to be a good man? Should they open the car door for their lady? Should they cry openly? The challenge lies in maintaining their essence while adapting to these changing times.
Respect for women and equal rights are of utmost importance, but it is equally important for men not to lose their true selves in the process. Navigating this maze of masculinity advice in the age of social media can be overwhelming. Nevertheless, there are timeless qualities and habits that can guide a person on his way to find his essence and his place in society.
First of all, physical fitness is important. While this is important for all genders, it is especially crucial for men. It’s not just about lifting heavy weights, it’s about regular exercise that keeps the body in shape. Physical health is also directly correlated with mental ability. Second, a man must have a circle of close male friends, similar to a wolf pack. It provides him with emotional support and feedback on key decisions. Discipline and routine are vital, especially after the age of 30. Playing team sports teaches valuable lessons about leadership, teamwork and dealing with failure.
It is equally important to find moments of solitude. It allows a person to focus, discover their deeper aspirations and create nuanced opinions. This self-reflection helps in making solid decisions, which is the mark of a good man. Must possess the ability and courage to navigate ambiguity and make decisive decisions.
On a philosophical level, one must stay in touch with one’s emotional side. It should remain connected to its core purpose. He must love his family and friends from the depths of his being. He must learn to be fully present with them. He should learn to operate from a dual perspective, facing life’s challenges head-on without excessive attachment to outcomes. He must not become prone to risk. Acceptance of uncertainty becomes possible when one is anchored to one’s inner compass. In ancient cultures, young men were sent into wild forests, challenging them to survive on their own and emerge as adults. These trials prepared them for adulthood.
The pressure to conform to traditional male norms can lead to mental health problems, as men may feel unable to seek help or express their emotions. True strength lies in not being afraid to be vulnerable, to admit and express moments of weakness without shame or guilt.
Questions like whether one should open the car door or cook become secondary when living with authenticity. The source of the action becomes more important than the action itself. In this state, other decisions have less weight, making a man naturally attractive and successful in career and family life.
Men should not judge themselves based on their ability to conform to traditional notions of masculinity. The authenticity of such judgment makes them obsolete. They find satisfaction in their own company and maintain an unshakable self-esteem with clearly defined boundaries. Seeking validation from outside sources becomes unnecessary, allowing them to live freely without compromising their values. Rejections are met with humor, seen as part of the great game of life.
They are just pointers like signposts on the road. Every man must go his own way and discover his true essence. There will be several hurdles and obstacles along the way. However, the best way is not around them but through them. He should bravely accept these challenges in order to evolve into a better man. As we continue on this journey, it is essential to encourage and support men in their quest to become better versions of themselves, fostering a more inclusive and just society for all.
The views expressed above are the author’s.
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