Monday, September 20, 2010
There was a time in my life when I wanted nothing more than to be a man and to be a good man. I indoctrinated myself with the qualities that a real man would have and started collecting the experiences and attributes that would, as a whole, qualify me for the position of manhood. Some of those qualities, which I found on a list recently that I made when I was 17 are as follows:
- Smart. Book smart and street wise. A lover of knowledge and keeper of wisdom.
- A survivalist. A mans not worth his spit if he cant get himself into a situation and then get himself out.
- A minimalist. Use it up, wear it out, do with it, or do without.
- Generous. A million dollars for one person doesnt make a whole lot of sense. Give give give
- Funny. Men are funny.
- Interesting. Like that Dos X's commercial: The most interesting man in the world.
- A fighter. I dont like fighting but I think if you cant defend yourself and the ones you love your useless to them
Those are just a few.
I became a man. I remember the day well. Whats interesting is not what I did to become a man (and no it wasnt sex) but the thoughts that came to me immediately after. I said to myself " You spend your whole life and every part of your day trying to become a man and then you finally do... just to realize...... youre just a man." Wow. What do I do now? Where do I go from here? Ive been trying to answer those questions ever since. And I think Im coming close to an answer. I thought it was to love, to be a lover. Not true. After all, the greatest lovers were murderers first. I though it was success. Not true. For Ive seen quite a few of successful children, though they may be well into old age. What is it!?
I cant say for sure, but I had an idea today. The greatest men, in my opinion, who I know - Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, George Washington, My father and my brothers, Brother Greenburg and Brother Johnston- all have a few things in common.
- You cannot say anything bad about their character. Try as you might, and many have, the dirt you dig up on any of these, though it be dirt, is fertile and good. You cant say a bad word about George Washington can you? Try. Seriously try.
- They dedicated their entire lives, everything, literally EVERYTHING, to someone and something other than themselves.
- They never did anything, after a certain age, anything at all for themselves. Everything was done in the service of someone else. They had a mission, all of these men and in no part of their mission was there room for a single selfish desire.
And so I think this is the key.
A man, or the man I wish I could be, is someone who lives for something other than himself. Thats what I want. Life just doesnt seem worth living if youre doing it for you.
Posted by Kurt Russell Anderson at 5:33 PM