The Need for Real Men - Reflections of a Young Man™

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The Need for Real Men



Real men were valued in most traditional African communities; some even devised tactics of testing them. Among the Maasai, real men were tested by their ability to kill lions in the wilderness. Among the Agikuyu, real men were tested by their ability to endure pain stoically during circumcision - shouting "Mummy" during the process elicited ridicule and reproach.

Although much has changed in contrast with the traditional African communities, their wisdom of valuing and making real men still remains relevant. This modern world is in dire need of real men amidst the immorality, calamities and injustice that pervade all societies.

The world needs real men who respect the sovereignty of God; who make a lifetime commitment to the acquisition of wisdom, knowledge and enlightenment; who work hard in life to deliver quality goods and services; who set high principles which they maintain in the heat of opposition; who marry sensible wives and remain faithful to them; and who nurture their children into responsible adults.

And how are real men made? Cuddling boys by shielding them from failure and criticism is not how they are made. Real men are made through the test of fire as Lincoln put it years ago. The kind of test that some traditional African communities devised.

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Personal Excellence: Part 1



We all want quality products. We want foodstuffs that are fresh and well cooked. We want water that is clear and clean. We want houses that are firm and sleek. We want clothes of superior comfort and appeal. We want long-lasting machines that function efficiently. And so on and so forth.

Paradoxically, while all people want quality products, a great number don't offer such quality in their work. You will find them gossiping during working hours which makes them execute their duties halfheartedly. And they cheat on time in their work and on weight in their products. They are like ticks that suck blood without benefiting the host.

Let us strive to be different by taking to heart the following mantra of the great mathematician and particle physicist Albert Einstein:
"A hundred times every day, I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give the same measure as I have received and still receiving."
Therefore, whatever our duty is - be it shaving hair, designing an aircraft engine, writing a novel, playing a team sport or governing a nation - let us do it with a touch of personal excellence. By so doing, we will give unto others the same quality of products that we demand of others.

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I have flagged this story as Part 1. Click here to read Part 2.

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Setting Boundaries



Bill Clinton narrates in his autobiography that he was once swarmed by bumblebees while mowing grass but they never stung him. He ran away from them but decided to go back near their nest thinking that the bumblebees had figured out that he meant no harm. But alas! On going back, he was stung mercilessly. And one of them got caught up in his belly making it sting him again and again - something bumblebees can do that honeybees cannot.

That Clinton's incidence teaches us that bumblebees are very wise. They know how to set boundaries, a concept well explained in Talane Miedaner's charming book: Coach Yourself to a New Career.

Setting boundaries is about limiting what others can't do to us or in our presence like bullying, lying, yelling, beating, talking coarsely or violating personal space. It is essential to happiness as Talane points out in her book. And it opens doors of great opportunities. Think of it this way: if we allow others to mistreat us without speaking up, we will end up nursing hatred and resentment: the devil's natural joy-killers.

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