As you well know you have been born into this world as a male, something that I frequently remind you is different from being a Man or even understanding Manhood. Although this may seem confusing, it is nevertheless true, a person’s age has very little to do with them being a Man. Manhood is not bestowed upon a person because they have reached a certain age because they have produced several children; son, I tell you that those who believe such things are foolish in every way that you can imagine.
Manhood is a status not easily earned; it takes years of personal development and life experiences for one to gather the ingredients that compose what we know as manhood.
This letter is written for the specific purpose of informing you of the several qualities that you will need to develop if you desire to become a man. Now you can rest assured that this list is not comprehensive, you should feel free to add additional items to the list as you see fit. However, it is most certainly a good starting point for you not only to ponder but also eventually pass on to your son at an appropriate time.
Son, there are several essential ingredients that you will need before grasping the concept of manhood. Later communications will go further in-depth regarding what each of these qualities means, as well as why they are so important to your development.
Consider the following ‘ingredients’ the foundation of manhood.
- Acknowledging a Higher Power
- Consideration of Others
As I mentioned above, this list is most certainly not ‘the definitive list,’ however, it is an excellent start for you to begin measuring yourself against.
Take a moment and honestly measure yourself against it. If you are having difficulty fairly measuring yourself, seek the help of others who know your actions, behaviors, intentions, and thoughts well.
Son, it is supremely important that you never lie to yourself regarding whom you are and what your strengths and weaknesses are. The inability to evaluate oneself honestly, if that is indeed a problem, is a character flaw that must be addressed on your road to manhood.
So take the high road and evaluate yourself because only you truly know if you possess qualities such as kindness, sacrifice, patience, strength, and honor.
© Manhood, Race and Culture, 2017
(Excerpt from the soon to be released book, DEAR SON: A Roadmap to Success for African-American Males)