Man and Manhood

Dear Men,

Have you ever looked into the mirror and asked yourself what makes you a man?

Is it our love for sports? Working with our hands and getting them dirty? Cars? Is it the hair on our face or our deep booming voices? Being outside in the dirt and mud? Is it hunting a wild animal and taking it home to feed our family? A rock hard body with a six-pack stomach?

We are surrounded by societies image of what a man is supposed to be. We’re supposed to be strong, confident, tough, and brave. We can’t cry. We’re supposed to brush off rejection like sawdust on our pants. We can’t be vulnerable. God forbid we do or say anything that makes us look weak. That would be the end of the world for us cause then we are no longer men.

To live up to these images is honestly impossible. That’s the cold hard truth and we are so ashamed and so embarrassed to admit it. Because we know that to admit living up to societies idea of man enough would make us look weak.

Have we stopped and thought why do we allow someone else to define, not only what makes us a man, but our own manhood?

Growing up I always had someone question my manhood and define it for me. As we know, by being men, I’m not alone in this. Men consistently push and challenge each other’s manhood.

If you didn’t watch sports, didn’t work on or like cars, workout and lift weights, or have muscles you were less of a man. If you didn’t partake in “locker room talk” you were not a man, because “boys will be boys.”

Men, it’s time to redefine manhood. It’s time to define our own manhood.

Growing up I was made fun of by the other boys at school because I wasn’t “ a normal boy.” I cried when I was sad, I wasn’t completely into sports, and confidence wasn’t my strong point. I was being brought down by the ideas of others of what being a man was. The rest of the boys talked about sports, cars, girls (locker room talk), and lifting weights. That wasn’t me. Still isn’t me.

Men, it’s time to redefine what it really means to be a man and throw away societies idea of manhood.

Let us be brave enough to be vulnerable. Reach out to one another when we feel weak, insecure, and admit that we need help.

Let us be strong enough to show our emotions. No matter happy or sad. Strong enough to cry in front of another man.

Let us be confident to listen to the women in our life. Take in their ideas and solutions. To hear their criticism, even when it’s against us. Stand by them and stop locker room talk.

Let us define our own manhood. 

My manhood isn’t defined by others or society. I define my own manhood because it makes me who I am.

Positive Vibes and God Bless.

This post was inspired by Justin Baldoni. View his TED Talk in the link below.

Niall Covington

Born with a genetic disorder, Niall knows what it is like to be knocked down. He has been there several times and he has been able to get back up because of faith and a small number of friends. Seeing others getting knocked down, Niall offers a hand whether he has just fallen or is on the way back up himself. Volunteering as a summer camp counselor for children, teens, and young adults with the same disorder, Niall hopes to inspire them to overcome life's road blocks. For Niall, writing for Project Wednesday is an opportunity to reach more people, and to help more.

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