Where The Good Men Are
(Yes, this post’s title should hopefully remind us of Maurice Sendak’s beloved children’s picture book Where the Wild Things Are.)
Lately, and with good reason, many women have been publicly lamenting how men continue to let down our collective society. In many ways, this is nothing new, and on many accounts, sadly, I see no lies. However, while many of these musings are narratives that should and must be shared with the world, we also desperately need to hear of the men – our family members, friends, people in our communities – who are doing things right. We all know a good man when we see one.
What Makes A Man A “Good” One?
The criteria for being considered a “good man” are really rather basic: Be honest, work hard, never harm, and care.
Yup. That’s about it. I think that pretty much covers it. Fin.
Alright, if you insist, I’ll elaborate.
1. He’s Honest.
Under this category, please include: fidelity, truthfulness, and loyalty. This also means communicating in all aspects, verbally, physically, and emotionally. It means doing the right thing, even when it’s uncomfortable, and knowing exactly what the right thing is because you know your Mama and Daddy taught you the difference between right and wrong.
2. He Works Hard.
Now, this one is deceptively trickier. Working hard certainly means having a job that pays, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be singularly with cash. Of course, being able to support your family financially is most ideal, and most of the time with the unequal pay gap, necessary. However, working hard also means offering support in the role of a care-giver. Provide for yourself and family to the absolute best of your ability by giving of yourself in any way that you can.
This is a really rough one for many men, because traditionally, the role is to be the “bread winner”. What if there are reasons that prevent you from being that? Many Vets are struggling to come back home to us in one piece, both mentally and physically. It saddens me deeply to know that on top of those struggles, there’s the added pressure of having to maintain an expected persona that can’t always be maintained. When you’re doing your best, you’re working hard. We should all strive to make our best even better over time.
3. He Would Never Harm.
Yeah, apparently, this one seems to be the confusing one for a lot of people. Don’t do things that wouldn’t feel good to you if someone were to do them to you. Ugh.
As much as I want to harp on this one, there’s no point. If people lack an empathetic bone in their bodies, it will be impossible for them to imagine what life must be like in someone else’s shoes. So, I can just say, no gaslighting, cover ups, systemic abuse in any way shape or form. Please.
4. He Cares.
Please, my dear – simply just give a damn. Again, this is a call for empathy. Don’t just care about yourself or your boys; care for the children, the women, the men who are lost, the elderly, the animals, the friggin’ planet, something, ANYTHING other than just your favorite sports team, game, or super hero.
All Sides of the Coin
If you’ve gotten this far, you’ll know that this list is just a basic call for human decency. No matter how you identify, hopefully all of us can see the merit in striving for all of these things. Sure, we all make mistakes, but if we go back up to the first one – being honest – we will own up to those mistakes and strive to do better. We all need to hold ourselves up to better standards, because we all deserve better.
Does this list sound like Mission Impossible to you? Is this why romantic tropes seem to hit these points again and again like a sledgehammer? Maybe so. But to you men out there who seem to hit each and every point time and time again, thank you. Thank you for being a part of my life and a part of this world.
Sending Love and Light to all of you.
©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™
– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest for more.