A Real Man

 

What makes a “real man?”

As a little girl, I was sometimes surprised

by the otherness of my brother.

At times, he was to me

as foreign as the woman I met at the city playground

wrapped in a veil, speaking in another tongue.

We communicated slowly,

with gestures.

 

Attempts at understanding

my brother raised the question

that I still ask today:

What is a real man?

 

For decades

I’ve worked  in a profession

with at first,  mostly male leaders.

I lived a  long marriage and then divorce.

And then a second marriage.

I’m raising two sons,

now standing on the edge

of manhood.

 

And here is who I see

as a real

man:

One who is strong enough

to be open

putting  the needs of his loved ones

first

but keeping true to himself

at the same time;

brave enough to feel his feelings;

patient enough to trust

in the midst of changes large

and small

and generous enough

to give his all

because  of love.

 

The love of a real man

like that can change you.

He can change the world,

too.

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