Be a man they will say.
Let me tell you what this means.
Be kind. Be respectful. Be open. Learn to communicate. Don’t be afraid to cry. Don’t be afraid to be afraid. Don’t lash out. Don’t think being mean is cool. Don’t think being cool is important.
Be open. Don’t feel like you have to hold everything in. Don’t think you have to go through all your problems alone. Don’t act like everything is ok if everything is not ok. Don’t hurt yourself. Don’t hurt others.
Be strong. But not just physically strong, be emotionally and spiritually strong. Don’t worry about having a six pack and muscles that hold no purpose except to look a certain way. Don’t focus solely on your exterior. Don’t think you have to play sports that hurt your brain and your body to prove that you are strong. Don’t get lost in sports. It’s ok to feel lost. Ask for help.
Be fluid. Don’t think you have to prescribe to labels. Don’t be afraid to hug your friends. Don’t be afraid to give your dad a kiss on the check. Don’t think that being gay makes you less than. Don’t think showing love to others makes you weak. Show love always. Wear whatever colors you want. Grow your hair long. Wear makeup. Express yourself fully without limitations.
Be polite. Hold the door open for others. Say please and thank you. Remember to put the seat down. Use your words to express how you feel, not your fists. Use your brain. Admit when you are wrong. Speak up when you see something you don’t agree with. Stand up for others.
Be humble. Don’t be proud. Don’t let pride guide you. Don’t let your ego get in the way of making smart choices. Be honored by second place. Be honored you got to play at all. Understand your privilege. Use it with grace and compassion.
Follow the law. Don’t touch anyone who hasn’t given you permission. Don’t speed. Buckle your seatbelt. Respect women’s bodies. Respect other men’s bodies. Respect your body. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t drink too much. Remember your choices will have consequences. Think before you act. Think before you do anything. Be smart.
Boys we can no longer just be boys. Men it’s time we stood up and said NO MORE to other men.
What is something you’ve felt has been pushed on you by society, your family, or other external forces that don’t align with who we should be?