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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Men Without Chests

The Eliot line "We are men without chests" is echoing in my head, and it gets me to thinking; are we men somehow less than we were before? I don't think so, not as a whole. I think that every generation has its own bucket of crazy; the "great generation" had alcoholism and cool isolation from their families; this created the "(Daddy please listen to) ME" generation of our folks. Next we had the Gen-Xers, who eventually got older and played Starbucks games instead of smoking up, and then my demographic. My generation is leaving a bunch on the shelf, and therefore we are all asking ourselves if we are good men. Then we write books about it, it becomes part of our collective conscious, and I find myself quoting poems I vaguely liked in AP English.
So the questions that I've been looking at a lot recently: are we men without chests? What makes a man?
A buddy of mine wrote about it (see http://justinmasterson.blogspot.com). I've been faced with derivatives of this question probably a dozen times over the last week. It even popped up in a dream my wife had--I killed and ate a bear. Tell me that's not awesome.
In the spirit of analysis driven conclusions, here's what I find in surveying great men I know:
1) They are people of faith. Not always my faith, but some faith. This faith is never the squishy "I believe in believing stuff" kind of thing, it's more visceral.
2) They are honest.
3) They kick ass when they need to.
4) They work hard and normally work pretty long hours.
5) They think.
6) They are humble and improving.

So that's my formula. I'm pretty sure it's close to God's definitional statements of what men are.

2 Comments:

Blogger Justin said...

Ryan,

Where else has this question popped up for you? I have (almost as a matter of divine intention, it seems) been confronted with this issue in three separate areas of my life, all in the last week-and-a-half. (BTW: "Fight Club" is playing at the AMC in Newport on the Levee tonight at midnight...how cool is that?")

Tell me about what you refer to as "God's defnitional statement of what men are"...where is it stated?

I loved your post.

Peace,
Justin

5:38 AM  
Blogger Brian Masterson said...

What makes a man?

. . .well, that and a pair of testicles.

8:13 AM  

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