Man to Man: Real Talk

man 2 man

There is a certain telling about an individual (male) in the type of handshake he extends upon first greeting. I, for one, believe in offering a firm handshake, along with, direct eye contact upon first encounter with another male (females I will address in a minute). I don’t know whether or not there is a rule of etiquette or a man code that offers a guideline or standard; however I entitled this entry: “Man to Man: Real Talk”‘ so that’s what we are going to do, talk man to man and keep it real (ladies this is for you too).

I’m not a father, but I am a role model to my nephew who is now eleven years old. His father has been deceased for some seven years now, so you can pretty much say that I have endured the “wonder years” in watching his growing process (wonder years=wonder where the time has gone). As in most cases, you find that moulding a child is not as simple as a mound of wet clay in a pottery class. One day the clay cooperates, while on other days the clay tends to have a mind of its own. But I have learned two things: 1) always keep your hand on the clay and 2) always continue to spin the wheel. I say that as I am still discovering what being a man is myself, as its definition is forever evolving. Although I consider myself to be a W.I.P (work in progress) I still tend to share certain principals with my nephew about the building blocks required in order to resemble a respectful and responsible man. He knows that when he enters a house, he is supposed to remove his hat. I tell him that young men don’t cry (or whine) to get their way. Crying is for moments of sadness or for moments of joy and not to be used as a form of negotiation. He knows to pray over his meal(s); he knows to be respectful to a woman, especially his mom. I emphatically preach about the dynamics of the relationship of a mother and son to both my nephew and my teenage niece. There are three types of men: The Momma Lover Boy, The Mother Respecter and The Mother Hater. I tell them that 2 out of the 3 should be avoided at all cost of becoming, or in my niece’s case, dating, (yes I am inventing the digital chastity belt as we speak ) and this is my reason why. Let me first state for the record, all men are momma boys and every woman in the world knows this; but what you may not know are the different types. “The Momma Lover Boy” is a bit misleading, because he loves his mother, but maybe loves her to the point like he’s dating her. She will never let him go and he will never put her in her place (avoid dating, avoid becoming). “The Momma Hater” has the Norman Bates gene. He has a disdain for his mother and anything feminine and has the respect level equivalent to that of a rabid wolverine. Bottom line; if he can’t respect his mother, he won’t respect you because he does not respect himself (avoid dating, avoid becoming). Last, but not least, we have The Mother Respecter. He will be “the catch” of the group. He respects his mother, he loves his mother but also loves having his own life (good to date, good to become). These sample isms I utilize with my nephew is to show him the schematic levels of respect, self worth and value. Understanding how to conduct yourself in public, regarding how you appear, what language you utilize, how cleanly you are and most important how you receive and are perceived by people can be surmised in one phrase: Its Your Reputation. It is what we live with, die with and what we are remembered by. Your reputation is always on the line.

This blog entry was inspired by a conversation I had with a peer who was raised with similar values that I had engrained in me since I was a child. You respect your elders, you stand like a man, you honor your parents and you never bring shame to your name. In a time where I see young men wearing their pants like knee shackles and looking unkept and unclean, I recognize that my values and principals are becoming obsolete. I see mothers struggle to find respect from the children they labored to bare, while the men who helped create the said life, abandon them both as soon as the condom snaps. If you have influence on a child whether as a parent, mentor, family member, etc.; make sure you are cognizant of what examples you are teaching/displaying in front of them. If respect becomes a legacy that can be handed down from one generation to another, especially with men, the world’s compassion changes. The world could use a few more good men and I am confident that my nephew will be one of them. #proverbs 19:18

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