I wonder what I’ll teach my son about masculinity and what sort of choices he’ll have to face in his life becoming a man.
One thing is sure, in a socially self-transforming world where nimble fingers and thinking are the main game, the masculine advantage of physical strength disappears and therefore different qualities will be advantageous.
Girls are already doing better at school and university, how will we help our sons become better men? Self-mastery? Integrity? Respect towards others and compassion in the face of adversity?
I like the below list, even though no single person could possibly achieve it all. But perhaps it’s a great list of qualities for a new masculinity?
When I found out I was going to have a son I kept asking people with sons to tell me what was great about having a son. The best reply was: ‘the world needs more gorgeous, compassionate, wonderful men of integrity and you now have a chance of helping to create one’.
My hope for my son is that he can become a content person with integrity. Someone who can make the most of his life and help others do the same. A man who can live his life with respect, compassion, awareness and will seek opportunities to grow and become as rich a human being inside as possible. Someone who can balance his own needs with that of others and can act on what he perceives as the most important thing in each phase of his life.
The New Macho
He cleans up after himself.
He cleans up the planet.
He is a role model for young men.
He is rigorously honest and fiercely optimistic.
He holds himself accountable.
He knows what he feels.
He knows how to cry and he lets it go.
He knows how to rage without hurting others.
He knows how to fear and how to keep moving.
He seeks self-mastery.
He has let go of childish shame.
He feels guilty when he’s done something wrong.
He is kind to men, kind to women, kind to children.
He teaches others how to be kind.
He says he’s sorry.
He stopped blaming women or his parents or men for his pain years ago.
He stopped letting his defenses ruin his relationships.
He stopped letting his penis run his life.
He has enough self-respect to tell the truth.
He creates intimacy and trust with his actions.
He has men that he trusts and that he turns to for support.
He knows how to roll with it.
He knows how to make it happen.
He is disciplined when he needs to be.
He is flexible when he needs to be.
He knows how to listen from the core of his being.
He’s not afraid to get dirty.
He’s ready to confront his own limitations.
He has high expectations for himself and for those he connects with.
He looks for ways to serve others.
He knows he is an individual.
He knows that we are all one.
He knows he is an animal and a part of nature.
He knows his spirit and his connection to something greater.
He knows that the future generations are watching his actions.
He builds communities where people are respected and valued.
He takes responsibility for himself and is also willing to be his brother’s keeper.
He knows his higher purpose.
He loves with fierceness.
He laughs with abandon, because he gets the joke.
This is the Mature Masculine – the New Warrior – a re-definition of masculinity for the 21st century. By no means is this list complete. You are welcome to come and add your gifts to this community. –Boysen Hodgson www.mkp.org