What defines a Man? I think it is a state of mind, it's an ability to harness the energies put at your disposal. To reach out, to create, to labor, to protect, to be strong, all those things are part of the description. Yet it's so much more and so much less. I think you can put as many layers on male motivation as you have time or care to, but you can also reduce it to not much more than a simple statement. I would like to establish that i'm not speaking from what i've been told by tradition or a father figure. My particular life afforded no such mediums through which to embrace my "Manhood". It is something which i have tried to understand on my own, for better or worse i've had to form my own opinions. The reason i choose to write about my values in this context is because i realize that myself, and most males, associate themselves very strongly with an ideal of manhood. Since that role has been defined slightly different in various cultures, that's all the more reason to reassess what that word means, if anything at all. On the most essential level masculinity is defined by it's opposite femininity. That definition is one of agency and assertive energy, a need...a lust for creation. As opposed to one of receptiveness, care, and connection.
Man at his greatest has united enemies and forged world empires and reigned over peaceful nations in benevolence. At his best man has carried the burden of family with grace and dignity and honor. He has labored to provide, he has died to protect, and gone into the unknown to discover. Man at his worst has committed genocide, started wars and taken lives for greed and personal power. At his worst man has no concern for others only a lust to become stronger. One thing that is consistent in all those situations is the vast potential at man's disposal.
We are the stronger less sensitive half of humanity, but it has been our duty and priviledged to protect our physically weaker, more sensitive, more caring companions. The feminine embraces and holds in communion all that humanity values, we are the force that brings human ambition to fruition. All feminist dogma aside, this is the simple way of things. As far as it seems observable. Those are the roles that we've been forged into, both biologically and socially. Of course it is also part of our existence to transcend such roles, but there is still value in tradition. Women typically were the caretakers and family bulwarks because they excel at it and i think typically enjoy doing it. (again all feminist dogma aside) Men on the other hand are developed more for physical labor and seem to have a temperament which facilitates action and makes them more resistant to some crueltys the world has to offer. Again, because i don't want anyone to feel excluded or offended, i want to stress that while that may be the typical roles we are no longer bound to them. There is no reason why men can't be excellent homemakers and women can't be assertive and endurant.
Ok now that i've defined the masculine role in respect to the feminine i would like to go back to what masculinity means on an individual level, not from a community perspective. I believe essentially it is honor and fortitude. To fulfill our potential we must have the will to follow the right path and the will to endure that which might seem unbearable. I believe that for man and women alike our divine connection can offer unlimited strength, but it can take different forms in each gender. Every example of a great man is recognized because of his willingness to go the farthest or work the hardest or endure the most.
So what does honor mean? To an american that's a hard question to answer, our values are so lax. It's important to carefully contemplate and define the role honor plays. I think integrity has alot to do with honor. If a man takes pride in himself and his works then he treats the world around him with the same respect he affords himself. That is one kind of honor. There is also the will to help and defend those weaker than ourselves. I know we're not superheros, but we must always reach out to those in need, and since men don't usually take supportive roles our way of contributing is by offering our strength and integrity as a tool and weapon (if necessary) I believe honor on a larger scale is how our actions effect different levels of reality. Perhaps you could say honor is a larger framework within which to put right and wrong. This is because alot of times honor will outweigh the immediate rightness or wrongness of a given situation.
I believe though we are descended from greatness. Each of us has the blood of Kings in our veins. (Queen plays in the background) We have the courage and valiance to do what must be done, even when that is the last thing we want to do. That is what defines true manhood, and perhaps womanhood as well. I think this is a pale expression of the true grace of the divine gift of masculinity but as we strive we can continue toward purity and become something unequaled in it's magnificence. We are the Divine's highest expression in our world. Spirit flows through us and creates with our hands and minds. Just as easily all the potential we can tap into can be used for great evil, if one does not consciously rein in their desires. We must cling to ideas like honor and love and integrity if we wish to face the trials of a new era. Perhaps one could say that we need to evolve our mostly forgotten old world values into the modern age.