As one slides along on our blue marble ones perspectives tend to change over time. That is a natural occurrence, at least I would hope so. Not only does society change and evolve but so does its stereotypes of what we as people should become. At the end of it all, we are who we think we should become.
My world is not the world of my father or my father's father. They lived in different times and had different struggles. But I ask myself, what do we have in common? I would classify my father as a 'man's man', but his world is not my world. Although times and attitudes change, I find myself asking what does it mean to be a man in this world? In my opinion, it means to be well-rounded. So, what does that mean? It means a man isn't stuck in a single world. He has evolved through experiences and is adaptable to be able to fit into many worlds.
We all live in our own world built by our experiences. One is not necessarily any better or worse than another, but why would one limit themselves to only one set of experiences? Why can't the man who grew up farming the land not feel like he could attend an opera in New York City and fit the circumstances? And in reverse, why couldn't a big city man feel relatively at home in the mountains of Tennessee? That's what I mean by someone who has grown into his own and become a man's man.
As I began to ponder this existence I started jotting down a list of many of those things I believe every man should experience in his life. Now, this is not an all-encompassing list and I will surely add to it as I continue my walk through this life with My Beloved.
Love a dog; bury a dog.
Learn to play a musical instrument
Be in a play or theater event
Build something completely from scratch
Renovate or refurbish something
Witness a birth
Swim in an ocean
Pilot a plane (even if it's just for a few seconds)
Change parts on a car
Play a competitive team sport
Help a child with their homework
Explore a cave
Hike a trail
Sleep outside in a tent under the stars with a child just for fun
Learn to dance
Learn to fly-fish
Grow a beard or a mustache
Learn to drive a stick-shift
Help someone who could never pay you back
These are just some of the things that would give a man a wide-ranging set of experiences and broaden his perspectives on the world. And a note, I have not yet done all these things. Some I may never have the opportunity to do. We'll see. I hope my future is not so limited.
Many people have their own thoughts as to what it means to be a man. To be a man is to be confident in one's own skin without being abjectly arrogant. These are my thoughts, ever evolving as they are.