A recent book by Guy Garcia, emotively titled The Decline Of Men states ‘At the dawn of the 21st century, men are not just the weaker sex, they are also fast on their way to becoming poorer, dumber, sicker, lonelier. More marginal, more unnecessary, less loved.’ Wow. Really?
I don’t agree with this assessment at all. In fact, I kind of feel like punching the Guy (I’m a man, you see). And yet, none of us can deny that scores of men around the world (dare I say, especially in Africa?) are shameful excuses for the leader, protector, provider and father that men are born to be.
True masculinity is NOT more testosterone, more beer, more loud arrogant behaviour, more sports-watching. There’s plenty of that to go around. There’s also no shortage of aggression, selfishness and angry displays of so-called strength.
I think we all know how easy it is to find show-offs, tyrants, followers, addicts, couch potatoes and abusers among us. Maybe even within ourselves. And perhaps most destructive of all – the silent, more hidden destroyers: secret lust, lazy compromise, lack of responsibility. It’s the default behaviour for descendants of Adam, unfortunately. It’s the norm for ordinary men. Unless we wage war against it in ourselves, it’s what we become.
And so this is where our aggression, our fighting spirit, our anger should be directed. Your community, your country and your continent needs the leadership of a few good men who are willing to fight against the default, fight against the norm. Your masculinity, strong and true, speaking to our generation and living out truth, selfless love, and integrity. Your masculinity, challenging the status quo of society. Standing, with quiet strength, against all that is arrogant and destructive and weak. Your masculinity, speaking to women with love and understanding, children with affirmation, neighbors with concern and the needy with real solutions. Your masculinity, challenging the wrong-doing in your own life with authority and determination.
We need men, strong men of conviction, steeped in the Truth, who will wake up and say something profound instead of profane. Men who do something significant instead of something expected.
We need to man up. And inspire and help our brothers to do so too.
Will you be counted as one among us?