The Mature, Masculine Male

The mature, masculine male

The mature, masculine male

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal a core element of the mature, masculine male.

First a quick update:

“Who is more evil – men or women?”
When we look at history, we see that it is men who committed the greatest atrocities. But is that only because we put men in the highest positions of power? Read the interview/conversation between myself and Professor Philip Zimbardo, Professor Emeritus at Stanford University as we also reference the famous Stanley Milgram Experiment where men and women followed orders to subject other participants to extreme intensity electric shocks up to 450 volts: Read more here.

Now, let’s talk about a core element of the mature, masculine male.

In my newsletter “Beware of immature men”, I refer to men who have not fully developed (mentally and emotionally) and therefore are stuck in the adolescent phase – seeking pleasure above all else, focused only on oneself (narcissism and instant gratification), shirking and running away from responsibility, refusing to be a father to one’s children, refusing to be leaders, blaming the world for one’s plight, entitled, obsessed with conquering and amassing but not contributing, driven to take but not produce, lost and without purpose, weak and reluctant to stand up for oneself & what is right, afraid of commitment in all areas, and; lacking in a secure identity and a secure ego.

“The maturity of man – that means, to have reacquired the seriousness that one had as a child at play” – German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil (1886)

Although, there are various and conflicting interpretations of Nietzsche’s words, it is plausible to conclude that he was referring to the attention, focus and deliberate purpose that a child brings to his play. The child has fun and is creative but his creations and play are meaningful and he gives them all of his attention and energy; he applies himself to his play one hundred percent; he gives himself fully to his play and he is fully absorbed by the play.

Similarly, today, “the maturity of man” – the mature, masculine male can be interpreted to refer to:

  • Knowing what to take seriously
  • How to act responsibly
  • How to say ‘I will fix it’, ‘I will get it done’
  • Taking action; moving beyond comfort and doing that which is difficult and uncomfortable but necessary
  • Becoming the leader and no longer the follower
  • Becoming the protector instead of the one seeking protection
  • Willing to sacrifice one’s own enjoyment and pleasure for the enjoyment and betterment of others
  • Willing to give and devote oneself to those dependent on him
  • Willing to identify what is truly significant, meaningful and a priority in life, and, willing to become earnest and devoted to those significant things
  • Applying oneself at one hundred percent to meaningful things which also have purpose
  • Producing positive results and being generative
  • Demonstrating strength, stamina, nobility and endurance

The above list is not a complete list but is something that can only be taught by a father to a son or a by a mentor/role model to the mentored or student.

“If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise”

The above is an excerpt of “If”, a poem by English poet, writer and novelist Rudyard Kipling who in 1910 wrote the powerfully evocative poem as paternal advice to his son, John Kipling.

The poem is a call not only to seriousness but to wisdom, discernment, restraint, self-control, accountability and responsibility.

Today’s modern world, particularly the Western culture, has chosen to make fun as the idol and the ideal – the aspiration of all. But the result is self-destructive.

A friend related to me that she attended a Shabbat dinner where the participants believed it would be more fun to make the dinner an Austin-Powers theme. Thus, they dressed up in costume with some of the male attendees wearing wigs instead of Yamacas, and thereby losing the meaning and desecrating their own beliefs and ritual.

The same principle applies to many of the TV reality shows such as “Buckwild” on MTV. The show, like many others on MTV set out to glamorize and glorify irresponsible, immature and reckless behavior all in the name of fun. However, the show ended with one cast member arrested on drug charges, and another, Shain Gandee, dead of carbon monoxide poisoning. Gandee, 21, was found dead April 1 in his vehicle with his uncle and a friend. The three men died of carbon monoxide poisoning after their vehicle became stuck during an off-roading “mudding” excursion in West Virginia. Read more about it. The show was cancelled thereafter, but the key point here is that the show continues to promote reckless and self-destructive adolescent behavior as the ideal. Accordingly, boys grow up physically but they still choose to remain adolescents, or as Hollywood now fondly labels them – “man boys’ – the cinematic characters often played by Adam Sandler, Will Ferrel, Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn.

Charlie Sheen is one such real life example, who is a parent, but was more interested in being a partying, self-destructive adolescent rather than a father to and positive role model for his children.

The point here is that not everything is designed to be fun, nor can it always be fun. Many things in life are solemn and require seriousness. Attending to someone who is frail and sick, digging through rubble to rescue someone, disciplining one’s children, or consoling a friend in need, are not deeds or tasks that are designed to be fun or taken lightly.

One of my personal values is fun but understanding the definition of the mature, masculine male implies using discernment about when it is time to have fun and when it is time to put pleasure and self-gratification aside and be earnest and serious, to accept full responsibility and to be willing to do what is tough, uncomfortable and even painful, all in the name of being a leader, a father, a contributor, a protector or a positive role model.

(Ladies: watch this video).

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist
www.patrickwanis.com

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