As men we can spend a lot of time, or not, trying to define what a man is and what masculinity looks like today. Are we showing strength or are we just being a bully? Is it because we are sensitive or are we being weak-sauce? Are we standing brave or are we denying our feminine? Our behaviors as men are on display for all the world to see.
Is masculine competence a linebacker on the playing field or a ballet dancer on the stage? Does masculine accomplishment look like a high powered CEO in the board room or a low keyed stay-at-home dad in the playroom? The comparisons, examinations, and discussions are many. And for me, speaking honestly, sometimes exhausting.
Regardless of how tired I may feel, situations and circumstances in the world I am part of call me to take action. So how do you and I best show up as men today in our homes, our communities, our nation, and our world? Is there a foundational truth of masculinity that all men can embrace? Where can we meet in our conversations together?
Action in the masculine requires a clean, sharp cut that challenges our premise
The world is complex right now. We are in a cluster fuck of fake-news, misinformation, and lack of veracity in verifying data and fact checking. Being a man right now means taking ownership for not only what I choose to believe, but the data I use to arrive at my beliefs.
Asking ourselves how we came to believe what we do, every man can check himself against the data he used to create the position he holds. Challenging ourselves to act only from verifiable data, information that is accurate and complete, requires self-discipline, curiosity, and effort. It is the work of men living in the mature masculine.
The mature masculine requires men to gather and hunt
As a man I want my decisions and my choices to be based on what’s real, what’s accurate, and what’s fact. Opinions can differ, but we must start from accurate data to form them. We no longer live in a world where data and facts are vetted and tested by others before being deemed reliable and released into the world. The luxury of being fed from the breast is gone. We have to gather and hunt for ourselves to stay healthy and strong.
Today, any 16 year old kid in Macedonia can create an American fake news site, and make tens of thousands of dollars while he does it. Anyone intending malice can create a dot com website that sounds official, but its only purpose is to spread lies. Social media is inundated with misinformation. Newsflash: Facebook is not a credible news organization. It is a repository of anything and everything from anyone. This also can describe an outhouse.
What is the accuracy, completeness, and verifiability of the data we use to make decisions men?
Being a man today means taking personal responsibility on the accuracy of everything we use to formulate our positions and base our decisions upon. To do anything less than this is not masculinity in action; it is culpability in creating a society that will lose itself in a morass of unchallenged lies presented as truth.
Are you a man who stands true?
How about we start by verifying facts and data before forming our judgments and opinions? As a man I am responsible for my beliefs and the data I use to arrive at them. Let’s begin by being accountable for the words we say and the information we share. As a man I am responsible for the consequences of what I speak and what I write.
Maybe being a man today is about checking, verifying, and confirming what is true and what is false. This applies to the linebacker and the dancer. Maybe masculinity is holding oneself to such a high standard of accuracy in facts and data that a man does not allow himself to form a judgment or take a position until he has done so. A standard that can be used in the boardroom and the playroom.
What will your masculinity embrace?
In order to meet the challenges ahead we must agree to begin with accurate data in our conversations. Finding solutions to our collective problems, and addressing our differences, will not happen if we are too lazy, too complacent, or too biased to expend the time and energy to ensure we have accurate and complete information.
As a man I choose a masculinity that values accuracy in the data I use to form my judgments. I choose a masculinity that calls out for this same standard to be used by other men. I choose a masculinity that actively challenges those who deliberately create or use false information to affect my world today.
How can I say I am a man by doing anything less?
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