For men only: Where do we get an example of an outstanding man in today’s world? Please stop all you are doing and think about it for a minute. What five men come to mind when you think of a “an outstanding man”? Crickets? Do we have to even think about it? It should be a no-brainer shouldn’t it? But yet, it is not. How come your name as a man does not come to mind? How come from your own family and clan, you do not see many candidates? Do we even know what the definition of an outstanding man is?
Gauging with Women
Flip the coin for a minute and ask yourself this question. “How many real women do I know”? All of a sudden, the question is simpler! Why is that? Did we even need to look up the definition of a real woman? No we didn’t, but our list of real women is easier to fill than that of real men!
That is why today as Father’s day will go down in a whimper as compared to Mothers’ Day and Women’s Day. Do we even have “Men’s Day” by the way? You see, we celebrate things that are worth of being celebrated. Otherwise our bid to recognize men and fathers tends to be very mechanical if the men and fathers have not proved themselves.
There is a reason why Men’s Day and Father’s Day do not have a fanatical following even in prison. More Mother’s Day’s cards are sent and received than Father’s Day’s cards. The truth of the matter is that nearly everything rises and falls on men in society . Why? Because a man is a pro-generator. Without a man, there will be no baby! And do not even start telling me about science. Science needs a man to create a test tube baby…but I digress.
An Outstanding Man
Stu Webber in his book “Tender Warrior” tells of a story that I will always remember. A group of girls were talking about their dream men. As they went on and on, there was one girl among the bunch who was silent, a little intrigued by what her friends were discussing. They mentioned things like:
- A strong man
- A tall and handsome man
- A man with biceps and six packs
- A man who can carry me
- A man with loads of cash.
Suddenly, the spotlight fell on her as her friends wanted her to contribute. “What is your ideal man? How does he look like?” We shall come back to this shortly.
In The Eyes of A Child
Men, we are our children’s heroes. They think we can do anything. They think we are strong and wise and extremely knowledgeable. For some reason, they perceive that we have some “awesomeness” and authority. It is not uncommon for our children to compare us with the heroes they watch in cartoons. They think we can do it. In short, as a father, my children look up to me…until at some point I stop measuring up, and that time always approaches very fast. The truth is that I can continue being the hero to my children even in their adult life, as long as I remain an outstanding man and father.
A story is told of a lawyer who always started his day by visiting a liquor den. One day his six year old snuck out of the house and followed him in an interesting way. The boy was mimicking his dad’s footsteps and following them…literally, without seeing where the dad was going. When the dad noticed this, it dawned on him that his son would “follow his footsteps” literally to the liquor den. That was a mighty wake up call. Children follow their heroes wherever they go and try to do whatever they do. It is so obvious that it is scary. Ever seen a child swearing, “I will never be like my father”…and few decades down the line they seem not to escape their father’s “footsteps?” It is that powerful.
In The Eyes of A Woman
Inherently, a woman is a follower. Yes we can talk about women emancipation and equal rights and so on, but deep inside, she wants to be led. In other words, in the eyes of a woman, an outstanding man knows where he is going and is confident of getting there. Knowledge is the operative word here, but I am not talking about academic knowledge. In fact, one of the biggest frustrations that women have with men is “they just don’t know!” Women have dreams too of what a great man should be…and TV has corrupted this notion for quite a while. However, deep inside a woman’s psyche most women are like the lady I talked about earlier. When the spotlight turned on her to say what her dream man looked like,
“It is good for a man to be strong. A strong man can do so many things. But a man who is both strong and gentle is wonderful. A man must be intelligent of course, but if he is also humble, that makes him all the more appealing…a man who is strong enough to live a disciplined life, but who is tender with the faults of others…a man who is honest above all, but kind…a man with courage to stay with the same task year in and year out, even if it is boring or tiring or painful, simply because it is his duty…a man with courage of faithfulness. I love all these things about a man” There was silence in the room.
In the Eyes of Society
An outstanding man in society is a caring and moral man. He is known to be considerate. His reputation of how he treats his family and most especially his wife is the talk of town. His consistency is noted. His wisdom is relied upon
In a nutshell, the world expects so much of us as men and Fathers. We have expectations from work and the business world, the society and religious circles and from our own families. Each year, we have statistics showing how we have failed our women and children.
What is the Solution?
It is simple. Let us be real men. That’s it. That’s the answer. But “How” do we do that? I think that is the most unfortunate question you can hear. Fathers were supposed to have told us these things. If not, at least we ought to have “caught the vision” watching them being fathers. But somehow, someone dropped the ball.
Being a Man and A Father
The following 4 “Offices” need to be fully occupied by an outstanding man and Father. (Thanks to Stu Webber and his book, Tender Warrior)
Imagine if we learnt how to love, nurture, nourish and really take care of our women? Did you know that half the problems of the world will be solved thus? We have issues as fathers because we are not really showing our children how to seriously love and care for our wives.
Provider, but most importantly, visionary. We know where we are going and we are leading our families there. Along the way, we are providing for their needs through our mandate, work, and resourcefulness.
We have great wisdom to mentor our children, and wives too. I think the greatest missing link in generations is mentoring. I have written a book about this. Children are groping around in the dark not knowing where to go next, yet we have men who have already ventured there, not taking time to hand-hold them through the process. Sad.
Men are supposed to know things. We are supposed to know how things work and we are supposed to teach these to our children and wives. These are things related to values, principles, life, success and so on. A mentor is different from a teacher.
We are inherently the “stronger” ones as men and fathers because the protection of our families is up to us. The greatest protection that we are to offer them is not necessarily physical. We have very many kids with low self-esteem and self-worth because their fathers never protected their psyche.
- Time: That’s proof of love. Statistics show that today’s father spends averagely 12 minutes with his children!
- Sacrifice: This is where women and mothers beat us hands down. Selflessness is the hallmark of a great soul, and fathers need to take heed
- Wisdom: Discernment, focus, urgency, purpose and direction in life are the fruits of wisdom. Application of facts known is wisdom. We need it greatly as fathers. If we don’t have it, let’s seek it as hidden treasure
- Guidance: This is a great one. An outstanding man guides with lots of insight. This is one of the greatest areas of failure for men.
- Treating Women Well: An outstanding man knows how to treat a woman well. We all need to “go to school” as far as this is concerned. It is absolutely important.
- Focused: An outstanding man is stable and focused, his eyes locked squarely unto his passion and purpose in life.
- Words: An outstanding man understands the power of words. One wrong word can mess up a child. One kind word can paint bliss to his wife. Words create an environment, and an outstanding man has mastered the correct use of words.
- Protector: Enough said here. No man is outstanding if he cannot stand to protect his family from harm, poverty, sickness and lack of purpose.
- Provider: This is the big one. In fact, men who cannot provide for their families inherently waste inside. This is because we were primarily wired to do so.
- Staying Power: A real man does not abandon a woman or a child. There is so much to say about this…so let me not get started.
Happy Fathers’ Day!