I was a child, and still hadn't reached maturity.
At high school I was presented with a question for an essay, the question read 'What does it mean to be a real man?'
A good question and one I didn't have an answer to. I'd never considered how I would need to change. I had always presumed that being male, I'd automatically become a man when I grew into adulthood.
How does one become a real man? Do I need to behave a certain way to a man?
With a some introspection the question revealed an answer; a man wasn't born, but was a creation of determined effort. Being a man wasn't a gender, it was about being a socially accepted male figure. Real men are made.
To fit into the identity of a man, one needs to take control of their life.
Where can one find a real man? Who was I? What is a real man?
It was time to change from thinking like a boy, and start thinking like a man. In high school, I didn't feel part of the mens club. I was an adolescent unsure of my role. Becoming an adult is confusing. The transition from being dependent, to an independent adult is a difficult time. To confuse matters, I was constantly hearing men and women are equal. It took a long time to learn that that meant ‘equal but different.’
Society has a strong stereotype for males and females. These roles are blurring and confusing with all the politically correct media. Where should one look for a role model? It might be easier to look at families with a strong patriarch. Once there was a tradition of what to expect, and what to do; follow in your fathers footsteps. Now we have freedom of choice, but with freedom can comes the confusion of choice.
After years of confusion, I discovered there is no real man. Or at least there isn’t one definition. The closest I came to defining what it means in the modern world, is ‘be confident.’ A real man believes in them self, and are able to follow their individual heart. This sometimes means fighting for what you believe in. Strength of will is an important trait still, a man needs to be strong minded (not stubborn). Beyond that, I never did learn exactly what is means to be a real man.