• What Defines a Man?

    What defines a man? Below are some definitions of the word man in the Merriam Webster Dictionary.

    a (1) : an individual human; especially : an adult male human (2) : a man belonging to a particular category (as by birth, residence, membership, or occupation) —usually used in combination man> (3) : husband (4) : lover

    b : the human race : humankind

    c : a bipedal primate mammal (Homo sapiens) that is anatomically related to the great apes but distinguished especially by notable development ofthe brain with a resultant capacity for articulate speech and abstract reasoning, is usually considered to form a variable number of freely interbreeding races, and is the sole living representative of the hominid family; broadly : any living or extinct hominid

    d (1) : one possessing in high degree the qualities considered distinctive of manhood (2) obsolete : the quality or state of being manly : manliness

    Some men let those around them define who they are. Some guys let Hollywood define what kind of man they are. In my opinion, a man is defined by many qualities and traits.

    The main thing that defines a man is his actions. I often hear people talk about how a man will react or what he will say in a particular situation. A man is known by how he will respond to things that occur around him. Many men are known to "blow their top". Some are known for their avoidance of events that may be unpleasant or difficult. Others are known for their ability to overcome any obstacle that gets in their path. Are you known as a problem solver or a problem maker? You need to be sure that you govern your actions accordingly at all times. Your actions will either chisel you into a great sculpture that is enjoyable to be around or mold you into a rough and unpleasant attempt at art.

    A man is defined not only by his actions, but by his words. Is he a gossip? Does he talk too much? Or does he talk too little? Does his vocabulary only include vulgarity? Is his vocabulary vast or limited? Is he able to discern when to speak up and when to keep his mouth shut? Everything that flows from your mouth defines you to those around you. You will be remembered for a long time for what you say. Once a word exits your mouth, it can not be retracted, reversed, or disposed of. It can't be deleted like it is on the screen of your computer. Be sure you think before you speak and determine if it is time to speak and, if so, what words are appropriate.

    Clothing defines a man in a great way. If you don't believe that, then show up in a pair of raggedy shorts, a dirty tank top, and a pair of sandals for your next job interview. I am not saying that it is wrong to dress that way. I am saying it is wrong for that particular situation. You need to know what to wear for every occasion. If you are going to a business meeting, dress for business. If you are off to the beach, leave your sport coat at home. If you are going to jump on your Harley for a ride, then wear your Harley t-shirt, jeans, and riding boots. The one rule to follow in every dress situation is to make sure your attire is neat, clean, and pressed at all times. You do not want to leave your house looking like you were just assaulted by the wrinkle monster!

    Your personal etiquette also defines you. Make sure that your are always polite in your dealings with people. There is nothing wrong with saying "please", "thank you", and "excuse me". It is polite and friendly to always open doors for others, whether it be a man or a woman. You should give the way to others when going through a door, stepping into an elevator, or even in driving situations. It is not going to make you any later to your destination if you let others go first. If you bump into someone, you should politely say, "excuse me" or apologize. I can remember bumping into a man one evening while I was walking on State Street in Chicago. Before I even had the chance to apologize, this cretin was ready to fight me. I was not rude to him even in that situation. I just kept my cool, got into a defensive stance, and diffused the situation before it came to blows.

    Honesty and integrity are two things that will etch out a picture of you to those around you. Whatever you do, do it in truth and honor. Keep your word at all costs, and always do a first-class job in everything you do. Work just as hard if you have volunteered to help someone out with a project for free than when you are getting paid. Not only will honesty and integrity define you to others, but it will define you to yourself. There is nothing more satisfying than to look in the mirror each day knowing that you have been honest and upright in all your dealings with mankind.

    Taking responsibility for your actions at all times will also define you. Can you accept being wrong? Or do you always put the blame on everyone around you. You need to realize that the place you find yourself in today is a direct result of the choices you have made in your life. Your choices will also decide where you will be tomorrow. It all reflects on you and no one else. You created your life and the universe you live in. If you do not like where you are at in life, accept responsibility, and change things!

    The old adage of "birds of a feather flock together" also defines a man. If you want to be defined as a thug or a gangster, then hang with those types of friends. If you want to be defined as a successful person, then associate with that kind of person. I immediately divorce myself from certain types of people. I refuse to associate with folks that are dishonest, disloyal, gossipy, lazy, impolite or negative. Of course, my friends may exhibit some of those poor traits at certain times in their lives, and that can be forgiven, but I will never pair up with people that live those traits as a daily lifestyle.

    Remember that none of us are perfect men, but we can always do our best in every situation we encounter. None of us will ever arrive even close to perfection, but the continual trying to do better is the action that makes us all Perfected Men.
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