Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Being a Good Man

For me, being myself, being a man, and being a good man are three totally separate things. I will explain. When I am being myself, I am considerably strange. Most people cannot understand me. I in fact, kind of scare people. Very, very few people know how strange I really am. Extremely few. And it is not the ordinary amount of when people say “if you knew what I really thought you’d be horrified”, because no, I wouldn’t. I have encountered the worst of humanity, so what bad thoughts you have about your mother really would not impress me. I’ve heard people’s worst fears and darkest secrets, and I was not taken aback. What is going on in my head is a dozen times worse. So, being myself is out of the question, completely out of the question. The me I am is an approximation of me based on what I feel my environment can handle at the moment. Then again, maybe that is what everyone believes; that their thoughts are worse than everyone else’s. Maybe my thoughts really are tame compared to the basest desires of the most innocent looking person I could find. I guess with myriad personalities on the world, I really could not know for sure.

Then there is being a Man. That one I think I have down. I have some extremely girly moments, but I got thrown out of a bar a year or two back, and I think that puts me firmly in the Male category. Also I am unabashedly into guy things. I like violence, sports, fighting, and crassness, all things typically associated with males. I have a reputation as being a skirt-chaser, which is somewhat groundless, but I will not deny that I am in love with women, the entire gender and all contained therein. I also would say that I possess the more noble attributes of my gender. I consider myself to be strong in mind and body, and am fiercely loyal to my friends and family. Fiercely might be an understatement; it is the reason why I was thrown out of said bar, Olde Queens. I am rabidly devoted to my friends and the women I love. Unfortunately this leads to another unfortunate male trait, jealous rage. I know women can have jealous rage as well, but it seldom reaches the intensity of mine I think; maybe it does and women just have way more self-control than I do. That is entirely possible. But in the end, I think I am a fairly decent example of what a man is and should be.

The last part is the hardest, being a Good Man. Being a good man does not come naturally to me; I have to work at it. My definition of a good man is shown by the things I am trying to be. I am trying to be more considerate of the feelings of those who care for me. I am trying to be more considerate of others feelings in general. I am trying to use my talent for empathy for good instead of evil. I am trying to be a one woman man. I am trying to think about things that affect the planet. I am trying to be more considerate of my fellow man, and brighten up the days of those around me. I am trying to not let my bad moods spread to those around me. I am trying to not take anyone or anything I have for granted, to be appreciative of everyone who loves and cares for me. I am trying to be more responsible, more productive, and more self-sufficient. I am trying to be less selfish and more giving. I am trying to achieve better health, both mentally and physically. I am trying to not let the ghosts of my past catch up to me and bring me to a similar fate as my mother. I am trying to be a better brother, grandson, and nephew. I am trying to put myself in a position to be the best father ever one day. I am trying to make right what once went wrong, much like Scott Bakula, and do right to those to whom I have done wrong. I want to be stable and interesting, to be me but better, more refined, more desirable. I want to be a good and decent man. And I am close, so very close… but not there yet..

In my opinion many, many people get by in life but just being themselves, or some very few manage to just be men. So few strive to actually be good men. It seems that in my life, people will not let me get away with just being a man, or much less being myself. Mostly it seems that people expect more of me. I cannot get away with being a lousy, piece of crap scumbag like most men. I have to strive to be better, because when I do not the people who care about me become very disappointed and disillusioned, and that is not a pleasant feeling for me. I have to achieve a higher standard of behavior than most guys, mainly, I think, because I seem to be capable of it, or at least that is what people tell me. Even people who have only known me for a while seem to think I have the capability to be much more than I am, in fact, more than most men have the capability to be, if I can just figure out how to fulfill my true potential.

Not that I should feel any pressure… I remember, when I was young, very young, thinking highly of myself for being a good person. When I was in 5th grade I found a wallet full of cash and returned it. I probably did more for my race at that moment than at any other point in my life, seeing as how I was the only black kid in the school. But as time went by, my sense of morality slid and slid and slid, to the point where I am the writer you are reading now. I’m fairly immoral, or “morally flexible” as I like to say. I think I can be a good man and be morally flexible (being myself) all at the same time. I can be a synthesis of the immoral me and the good man I want to be. I am trying and I think I am getting there. But being a Good Man takes a lot of effort, more than people realize. It is so much easier to be evil, and sometimes it feels, more rewarding.

1 comment:

GoldenSoul said...

But, my dear, where is the delicate balance of being ones true self and improving ones self cross into 'faking' it?

Any man can put on a happy face/angel face only for so long. You-know-who as a prime example. Eventually the uglyness or beauty-whichever really lies beneath- will surface.

It annoys me when people 'try' to be something they aren't. It only ends up wasting my time and theirs. I know you aren't aiming for fakeness. I know you're merely trying to tap into the vast potential you do have. Most girls these days are smart enough (or maybe I'm kidding myself ) to know that just because someone has the potential to be something, it doesn't mean that they WILL. Your friends are just makin sure you DO ;0)