#1 Witness

 

#1 Witness

A member of the 82nd Airborne survives the war only to lose his baby daughter in his arms when he gets home.

A hairdresser, off heroin temporarily, takes a newly clean kid aside and whispers in his ear, “You have to keep asking yourself, ‘what’s the con you’re still telling yourself?’”

In a waiting room, two boys dressed in ties play on Gameboys. A mom swats them on the head when their name is finally called. They file through a metal detector to see the father they have only met in prison.

A photojournalist recovers in Walter Reed Hospital after getting his legs blown off. He is being visited by his friend, a Pulitzer Prize nominated war writer and photographer, when they get word that their mutual best friend has been killed taking pictures in Libya.

A stem scientist who is barely thirty years old takes a skin cell, turns the same cell into an embryonic stem cell and the same cell into a beating heart cell.

What is male goodness?

Is it improving another life? Doing something uniquely well? Risking your life? Coming back from tragedy? Telling the truth? Crying out in pain?

Sometimes it’s just a matter of witnessing the goodness in others.

 ♦◊♦

100 Acts of Male Goodness >> #2 Foxy Lady

 

 

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About Tom Matlack

Tom Matlack is the co-founder of The Good Men Project. He has a 18-year-old daughter and 16- and 7-year-old sons. His wife, Elena, is the love of his life. Follow him on Twitter @TMatlack.

Comments

  1. Witnessing means a lot. I am a witness to my husband’s life and he to mine. You can’t buy that kind of scrutiny and acceptance.

  2. patentlawya says:

    This may be a bit off-topic, but this post struck a chord with me. I am an engineer by training. I once read that to be an ethical (i.e., a “good”) engineer, you must first strive to be competent within your sphere of influence. Although that sounds somewhat mundane, I think that this concept applies to all areas of life. We should resist the urge to measure the “goodness” of a man in those rare heroic moments, but how he acts in the everyday, doing the mundane, within his own sphere of influence (raising kids, setting the right example on the job, honoring family and our significant others). I honestly believe that practicing the right thing in the everyday is what allows us to make the right decisions in the big moments. If we want to “witness” a good man, look for it in the everyday. That is where we are most likely to see it.

    • I honestly believe that practicing the right thing in the everyday is what allows us to make the right decisions in the big moments. If we want to “witness” a good man, look for it in the everyday. That is where we are most likely to see it.

      Very good point, very good point.
      While i understand that a man who can be ‘locally good’, ie. he can be good, do good, even do great historic things in one area of his life WHILE being a complete shit in another area/s.

      I side more with your thinking about the what more often, serves the greater good of humanity

    • well said brotha man :)

    • Tom Matlack says:

      “If we want to “witness” a good man, look for it in the everyday.”

      Totally agree. Another way of saying that is goodness is what happens when no one is looking.

  3. It seems men need to do something that meets with the approval of others to be “good”. Women earn the label merely by being born.

    No. There is nothing good about men. Their badness can only be assuaged by meeting and surpassing the expectations of others. It is not enough to do no harm.

  4. Richard Aubrey says:

    Herewith some male goodness
    http://news.yahoo.com/children-rescued-icy-utah-river-back-home-195443468.html

    Better than witnessing, especially if you’re one of the kids.

    You need training, initiative, and physical strength to pull off this sort of thing. And courage. Don’t see much talk of these virtues amongst the genderwarbabble.

    • Richard, there’s nothing new or unique about that story. Those are everyday events on the broader scale. It’s all very well to say that it demonstrates “male goodness” but where is the actual acknowledgement of anything male? Where are the mentions of good being done by men specifically? The only rescuer whose gender is apparent is the police officer. At least a gendered pronoun appeared for him. The good men do is hidden in euphemisms such as “passers-by”.

      Works at the other end of the spectrum too. I followed news of an oil rig disaster in Russia leading up to Christmas. In numerous articles the dead and lost were never once gendered. They were workers, corpses, bodies but never once simply men.

      Be assured that had one of the “passers-by” in Utah or the “corpses” in Russia been female we would have been told – probably in the headline.

      One of the consequences of feminism’s politicisation of gender and it’s rampant stereotyping is the “gendering” of the language. In it’s most simplistic form “victim” has become feminine and “abuser” male. The dark side is exclusively male. It extends to qualities also. When they do good they must NOT be seen to be doing it as men. When they suffer they also must NOT be seen to be doing it as men.

      • Richard Aubrey says:

        gwallan
        You’re absolutely right about gendering the hero, live or dead. I believe all the folks in the Logan incident were men. Saw a report a few moments ago.
        I missed that.
        I have, on other threads, referenced a girl saved from a flood by a GuardsMAN in Texas. Once she was safe, the news footage ended. No idea if the guy got out. I presume he did, but if he didn’t, I suppose only his family and Guard unit would pay attention.
        I also note that the requirements to actually do somebody some good, which I referred to, are rarely mentioned, except negatively, in questions about good men, on this side or the feminists’ side.

  5. How many times do we hear of womemn coming to the rescue?
    Almost never.
    Recently two men pulled a rolled vehicle off a girl locally.
    The girl is being lauded as a hero.
    (for surviving her crash)

    Those same men would be suspect in what used to be ordinary interaction with same teen girl.

    Are men only good during extreme self sacrifice?

    It appears to be the case indeed.

  6. GoodnessYes says:

    Male goodness … My spiritual father and mentor, a survivor of WWII, walking me into a misty November forest, standing me in front of him, planting his hands around the top of my arms, gazing with raw *presence* into my eyes and *telling* me, ‘Be well.’

    … My husband embracing, enfolding me, in the shower, flooding me with a heat that I can only describe as pure cherishment.

    … My uncle, a man in his 80s who has lived with neurodegenerative illness and excruciating pain for over 40 years … and is the true patriarch of our family: a bastion of love.

    There’s nothing in this world like receiving a surge of goodness from a man’s heart. It’s visceral; it enlivens; it’s a gift.

    Men: I love your goodness.

    Tom: Thank you for this :-)

  7. this was so simply put that I am impressed and reminded of this wonderful male quality. one of the great things about men is they can edit it down and remove the chaos of the feminine energy in things so the message is heard not the hysteria. just doing this very male behavior helps create more peace on the planet. the unique value of being male has been lost to some extent and I pray there is a reclaiming of that on the horizon. we need men to be in their full, true power. MUCH LOVE to The GOOD MAN PROJECT! keep on rockin it guys!

  8. A 56 year-old father embarks on a journey of personal- and self-improvement to continue to set the right example for his family, even though most people would probably say it’s too late and give some excuse about old dogs and new tricks.

  9. Matt Casto says:

    My dad makes a homemade batch of ice-cream everyday at 4am, by mid day he leaves his house and finds someone to surprise with his amazing recipe. He is a simple man and lifts hearts of people daily. I used to wonder how it was possible that he could find people who would accept his gift and not think him a bit crazy. He just opens his heart and is led to someone in need. He has met hundreds of people from all walks of life. He has hundreds of beloved friends. He has so many touching stories to tell. All because he is looking outward, not inward. He inspires me.

  10. On a website predominantly populated by women, I once called for stories of men doing the good stuff.

    Sadly, it was a very short thread. It seemed there was no enthusiasm for finding the good in interactions. I lost much of my interest at that point.

    I’d much rather hear about the good in men. Thank you for this.

  11. David Byron says:

    Reminds me of the comment by Camille Paglia, where she has a sort of click moment witnessing the good of men:

    As I drove across the Verrazano Bridge, I thought, ‘Men built this.’ As I looked towards the New York skyline, I thought, ‘Men built that.’

    It’s kind of neat in a way but at the same time I just never seem to get the division between men and women in it. I just never really got it at all. Men and women are either good and bad for the same reasons and in the same ways. But despite disagreeing with the sentiment and the gender politics of that statement I have always loved the generosity of it by her, a woman (and a feminist albeit one thrown out of the movement) towards men.

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