First lets not confuse being manly with the normal traits that people like to associate with being a man. I am referring to the negative ones out there. Sure blowing shit up, eating raw meat and bedding everything in sight has its place, but I am going to be talking about the shit that many of us are missing. You see there used to be some great male role models out there. Hollywood even put a few up for us to admire, the Duke being my personal favorite.
Today is this modern era of global isolation we are forgetting those things we used to do to mark the path for our children. Boys run rampant in the street claiming to be men, but not really understanding what it means to be a man. Just because you can beat somebody up, doesn't make you a man. Sometimes it can be, but rarely is that the case. Leaving a trail of broken hearted young ladies is also not a sign of being a man. If anything was the opposite this is it. Sex is not a bad thing, hell I love having sex, but using it as a tool or perceiving it as a conquest is just fucked up.
So after a bit of reading I have come up with my rules or traits of what it takes to be a man. I am doing this because so many of us have lost the guidance in this age of divorce, disconnection, and impersonal behavior. Many young boys only receive the ideology of what it means to be a man from the movies or in a magazine teaching them how to get laid. A healthy spank bank does not mean you are a man. With all that aside if you pay attention to these things they might help you understand what it means to really be a man.
Be Honest: This means not only keeping your word, but being honest to yourself. Be who you are, with out giving in or changing the public perception of yourself for a fad or for popularity. Know yourself well enough to know your limitations and weaknesses, but also know your strengths. If you do not speak your mind it will dull, and if you do not speak your heart it will fade.
Courage: It takes courage to be honest. It takes courage to do the right thing. It takes courage to not follow the crowd. It is okay to be afraid, but it is courage that gives you the strength to do what is right in spite of fear. Courage can also be admitting to something you did, or even crying regardless of who sees you because you are afraid they will take your man card. All men cry, they just do it when they are supposed to, not just when they are allowed.
Confidence: Be self assured. Self confidence it key here. Everybody worries about what others think of them, but I feel its more important to value what you think of yourself. You know better then anyone what you can and can not do. So fuck them other ass hats telling you your limits.
Humility: While it is important to be confident, it is also important to no be cocky. You need to understand that while you have the right to walk around with your chest puffed out, you are not the only person on the planet. It is also through service that you learn the value of things like respect, and reward. No matter how bad ass you think you are, there is also some one bigger and badder then you.
Duty and Industry: If you sit on your ass and do nothing then that is what you will always be. People can talk all day long, and a lot of them do, but a man also will do. Be a contributor in all things you do, or don't waste peoples time and don't do them. If you have nothing to offer but complaint, shut your pie hole. Work, and work the best you can at something you are good at and love. Money is not evil, but it can be used that way. That being said do the best job you can for the best wage you can, and use the fruits of your labor to benefit those around you.
Honor: I do not men the bullshit charge to your death for a word Hollywood craptastic version of honor, but real honor. Honesty is yours, but you honor is how others see your honesty. It is people knowing you will do the right thing even when they are not watching. Be honorable in all things.
Accountability: In essence own up to your shit, good, bad, or indifferent. You do something, or say something, take credit for it. Do not be embarrassed for being who you are. In that use your brain before you do something stupid. Odds are if you will not admit to doing something later, it might not be the best idea to do it.
Acceptance: Everything you do has consequences good or bad. So weigh that and do not do anything you are not willing to pay for. If you want to have sex, understand it may result in a child, shooting fire from your dick, or worse you could die. Accept that those possibilities are there and give them thought before you do anything. Do not blow off the consequences of your actions and lay they blame on others. You did it, you own it.
Judgment: Accept that no matter how hard they try people are judgmental. So are you. Wisdom is learning to trust your judgment, and making the best choices you can based on it. Refusing to do so is lazy. Hone your judgment and know that intelligence is learning from your mistakes and success, and wisdom is learning from others.
Rock and Water: Understand there is a time for being both, and use all the above to figure those times out. Sometimes you need to stand up for what you believe, those weaker then you, or when someone is being a douche nozzle. In these things you need to be a rock, unmoving and unbending. Other times you have to compromise. Giving a little to get something that is for the betterment of you and yours is acceptable. Just do not compromise your integrity in the process. Use your judgment to know when those times should be.
Laugh: Most important is to be able to laugh at yourself. If you take yourself to serious you will miss those things in life worth making life worth living. Do not be ashamed to laugh at what ever you find funny. Joy is to often wasted. Maybe later you can ask yourself if it was right of you to laugh at the fat old ladies power chair losing its breaks and her rolling down the hill into the oncoming ice cream truck. In the moment though if its funny laugh, you don't know when the next laugh will happen or where it will come from.
To me this is the short list of things you can work on to be a man. I go a step further in being a warrior, and that can work for boys and girls. Hell these can work for boys and girls as well. I think the real keep to being a man, and not a boy, is just being a good person. Don't worry about what others think so much when you do these things, because at the end of the day only you are accountable to you, at least until you die. So until then be a fucking man you sissy.