Be a better man so you can be a better human.
I was recently on the touchpoint podcast with my friend Jared Matthew Weiss.
We talked about overcoming social anxiety, what it is like dating a powerful woman, modern masculinity and explored the most burning question of them all...what ever happened to puka shell necklaces?
Towards the end of the show, he asked me a question that I had never thought about before.
“When Hiro (my son) grows up and someone asks him the question, WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A MAN? What do you want him to say?
I paused for a moment and said “I don’t really care what his answer is. I just hope that he has one. I hope that he has the support he needs to ask the question and figure out an answer that makes sense for him on his own terms.”
I don’t really care what kind of “man” he wants to be...or any man for that matter.
This is because I believe the work is simply about asking the question honestly and finding what makes sense to us in the moment. When we do that, we become more of the person we’d like to be in the world.
Most importantly, when we explore this aspect of our masculine identity, we are more capable of transcending it all together and asking ourselves a bigger question…
What does it mean to be human?
Jared pushed back after my response and said “but aren’t their things that you want him to accept like vulnerability, openness, service etc?”
I responded that of course I’m going to project some of my expectations and desires onto him and am already conditioning him, but I closed by explaining how I consciously try to counteract this impulse.
@mikiagrawal and I have developed a little ritual in our house. The last things Hiro hears before he falls to sleep every night is this...
You are loved
You are supported
You are perfect exactly as you are
This is for him, and for me.
A reminder to release the need for him to be anything... so he can be exactly who he is.