Manhood is way more than your Mazda can offer.
What are the steps to becoming a man? In a recent article, Gmail, EMale and What it Takes to be a Man, I wrote that there are are three tests on the way to manhood:
- Getting a drivers licence
- Being able to legally drink… and then figuring out how to drink responsibly
- Getting an email – the one thing needed to set your identity on the Wide Web of the World.
When I saw this TV commercial it blew me away. In just three minutes, we are taken through a significant part of the journey of what it means to become a man.
Turning 18 does not make you a man any more than spending a lot of time at McDonalds makes you a hamburger. Becoming a man begins at birth and is way more than getting a car.
Being a man begins as a boy. Without the boy, there is no man. Play, experimentation, risk taking, and fun are essentials. Then we begin to bond with our fellow brothers and with the girls in our lives.
As boys we have to navigate the world of mistakes – managing expectations, disappointment, and shame. Sometimes you blow it and the garage door pays the price. You build big dreams and life takes you down. Holding on to dreams is one of the greatest tests that life throws at you.
Then there is college, the parties and the romance that can spawn mayhem or meaning. Graduation takes us to the world of careers and for many we settle in for a long term relationship. Then family presents the challenge of being present despite the many stresses and trials that come our way.
One of the grandest tests is that life comes back around. You can try to retain a part of yourself through buying a new car, getting a bigger home, having more stuff, trading in a partner, but these things betray the state of your heart. Holding on to yourself through it all is what life is all about. Life can be a grand shaking. Hold on. No one can fill your place in this world of ours.
No, gentlemen, you do not need a car to make you a man. Becoming a man is an inside job.
Join a community of men who are having the conversation that no one else is having. We would like to hear about your journey in the comments, and through sharing your story with us. You may have what it takes to write for the Good Men Project.
Photo by Bill Strain