What Makes a Man?

What makes a man, is it the power in his hands?
Is it his quest for glory?
Give it all you’ve got, to fight to the top.
So we can know your story.

–          DVDA, “Now You’re A Man.”

As I see it, there are several key personality traits that all members of the male sex should strive for in order to earn the title “Man.”  These traits are:

  • Work Ethic.  A family man in particular should know the value of work.   One of the defining characteristics of a family man is that he works to provide for his family.  I fully support career women, and see very few positions in the workplace than a woman cannot fulfill as well as a man (Infantryman or sperm donor are among the few exceptions) but when the assimilated malodorous residue of the digestive process hits the oscillating air-movement device, it is the man that should be prepared to go out and dig ditch, shovel dung, or whatever else is necessary to keep a roof over his family’s head and food on the table.  Also, success in the workplace can be achieved by following three key rules:
    • Show up a little earlier than the other guys
    • Work a little harder than the other guys
    • Never pass up a chance to learn something new.
  • Integrity.  A man should be known by his word.  This is not unique to men; all people should be known by their word.  When you look in the mirror in the morning, you should be able to answer “yes” to the question “Would you buy a used car from this guy?”
  • Generosity.  I’ll be the first to admit that I’m frugal by nature; I always try to get the most bang for my buck.  But I can’t stand meanness; there is a big difference between being frugal and being cheap.   Generosity of the wallet is, to my thinking, tied to generosity of the spirit.  I work hard to achieve a certain level of material success, and part of the benefit is the opportunity to be generous to people I care about.  I work hard for my money and hate to see it wasted, but generosity is an investment that always yields a good return.
  • Courage.  I’m not just talking about physical courage, although that is important too.  I’m talking about the courage to do the right thing, even if it costs you.   Courage means telling your boss that his pet project he wants you to work on is doomed to fail.  It means walking away from a lucrative business deal that you have an ethical problem with.   Sometimes it even means telling your wife that those pants do indeed make her butt look big.
  • Persistence.   This is what my Old Man refers to as “Seeing things through.”  When you take a job, you finish it.  When you start something, you see it through.  This ties in to Integrity; it ties into Work Ethic and Courage.  Anyone can be a starter.  It takes a bit more to be a finisher, especially when things get tough.  As an old business mentor of mine used to say, “You have to close the deal.”

All of these things are important, but they aren’t the only things.  As DVDA reminds us:

What makes a man, is it the woman in his arms?
Just ‘cause she has big titties?
Or is it the way, he fights every day?
No, it’s probably the titties.

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