Thinking about being a man

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I’ve been thinking about what it means to be a man. I’d like to think that I can bypass this step by not taking on responsibility, but the truth is, I’m a man regardless. Am I gonna be a good one or a sucky one? This is what I think a man is…

It doesn’t mean I’m macho, but I’m not dependent. I’m not emotionless, but I don’t let emotion prevent me from providing security. I am not arrogant, but I’m confident enough to give others confidence in me. I am not anti-feminism. I am independently strong regardless of anyone else’s opinions or lifestyles. I get these qualities by working to have them honestly. I am 100% responsible for my actions and that’s it. I try to make them all positive.

This is the prayer of St. Francis.

Lord, make me a channel of thy peace;

that where there is hatred, I may bring love;

that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness;

that where there is discord, I may bring harmony;

that where there is error, I may bring truth;

that where there is doubt, I may bring faith;

that where there is despair, I may bring hope;

that where there are shadows, I may bring light;

that where there is sadness, I may bring joy.

Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted;

to understand, than to be understood;

to love, than to be loved.

For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.

It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.

It is by dying that one awakens to eternal life.

I am an atheist, but I say it every morning as part of meditation to help me think about the way I’d like to live. Sometimes I think of it in terms of helping others, and sometimes it’s all about me.

EXAMPLES

To Help Others: I can think about people who make me feel uncomfortable – how they need comforting too.

To Help Myself:  I can think about how I do unhealthy things like watch TV expecting comfort to passively come to me. Instead, I can put in the effort to actively comfort myself by making myself a nice meal or taking a walk or talking to loved ones.

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