3 Rules on Being a Man - A Female Perspective
“You act at being a man, and before you know it, you are one.” Richard Madden
What does it take to be a man?
For the modern man, I supposed there are many complex rules and endless Barney Stinson type bro codes.
I’m all about simplicity. If I were a man, and I can take from only one piece of literature to tell me how to be man, I would choose Rudyard Kipling’s “If.”
If I were a man, and I want to know what a woman look for in a man, I would pay attention to my mom and my sister.
From this, I have a baseline. From this, I can build, based on values that align with my own.
Philosophers, writers, poets - in other words - my betters can point to so many qualities that should be discussed here.
I’m all about simplicity. I am a simple woman. I am not here to be the voice for all women, but for me, there are only three simple rules for being a man.
Seriously. The act of showing up appears to be a tough one for many men.
Show up on time.
Show up for your kid’s school recitals when you say you would.
Show up when no one wants to do the job. In the middle of a hot summer, my brother drove up with a U-Haul truck, and cheerfully and efficiently helped me move. It is especially noteworthy when you reside in Phoenix, Arizona.
Mind the Little Things.
So many men want to do big things to prove they are worthy of love and respect. I like to see more men consistently do “little things” that make people they love feel big.
My dad was a man of few words. In the rare moments when he showed affection, he would clamp his giant hand on my head, and when I look up into his face, his eyes spoke everything. And because it happened when I was in the middle of something mundane like peeling a papaya (come on, this is an Asian house), the loving gesture was especially meaningful.
Here are more examples of minding the little things. This from a recent dinner party:
I was engaging in a lively discussion with a small group of women when one of the women’s husbands wordlessly stopped by our table, picked up our dirty dishes and took them to the sink. Then without missing a beat, he went to grab himself a beer and rejoined the men. That level of thoughtfulness is not lost on anyone. We felt cared for.
Later in the evening, another male friend suddenly appeared at his girlfriend’s side, cupped her face lovingly in both his hands and planted a kiss on her forehead and cheeks. Of course, all the women at that table swooned. Because what that tiny, spontaneous act told us was that, “I’m proud to be with her.”
I often think that small acts of kindness warrant greater love and respect than mightier deeds. Why? Because they are part of a remarkable person’s ingrained habits and thus, imparted with greater frequency and consistency.
Give it Your All.
Most men focus on the results. Women, on the other hand, tend to give more credence to the process, in particular, how you manage it and your attitude toward it.
My friend Ron is a great example of men who give it their all. Ron worked for a Fortune 100 company, and a few weeks before Christmas, the company announced a lay-off. He was part of the unfortunate souls facing unemployment.
While others might have allowed their work to slide, he showed up. He continued to produce quality work. He spoke ill of no one. And unbeknownst to anyone, after his day job, Ron went straight to his night job, and though exhausted beyond belief after his shift was over, he would stay up for a couple more hours to send out resumes. Ron was determined to land a full-time job before the clock ran out. With that level of persistence and determination, I don’t have to tell you that he landed his dream job.
Show up. Mind the little things. Give it your all. They make a man.
This post is dedicated to all the fathers and amazing men everywhere.