We continue our meditation on the healthy masculine, and what “Real Men” do – and don’t do…

Real men do not take healthy water, soil, air, forests and animals for granted.

An officer of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rescues an injured owl on the Protection Island National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Peter Davis/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Flickr.

Real men love nature and all of creation—not just to use it but to respect it.

Real men don’t sell their souls cheap for power.

Real men can laugh at themselves.

Real men ask for forgiveness when they have wronged others.

Real men don’t brag about grabbing women by the genitals.

Real men forgive others.

Real men resist addictions (including addictions to power) and get up if they have fallen and try again.

Real men are grateful.

Real men are grateful to be alive, to be in a universe 13.8 billion years old and 2 trillion galaxies big and on a splendid and beautiful and healthy planet.

Real men are generous.

Real men care about the suffering of others.

Real men take responsibility for their actions.

A leader from the Red Hawk American Indian Educational & Cultural Awareness Center participates in a healing ritual with the Mebane Chief of Police in the city’s Unity and Healing Rally, 6/7/2020. Photo by Anthony Crider on Flickr

Real men reject Patriarchy and its value system of power-over and being number one and reptilian brain excess.

Real men love women and children, men and others.

Real men don’t put children in cages.

Real men do not live in denial of what matters including climate change or poverty or racism or sexism.

Real men encourage others in a democracy to vote.

Real men commit themselves to justice making and to standing up to injustice.

Real men are not afraid of people different from themselves whether by race or gender or gender preference.

Justin Trudeau at the Vancouver Pride Parade 2018. Photo by GoToVan on Wikimedia Commons.

Real men are not homophobic.

Real men welcome the divine feminine and work to put its values in cultural institutions of education, economics, politics, religion, education.

Real men treat women with respect and stand up to those who do not.

Real men are not busy feeling sorry for themselves.

Real men are beyond self-pity.

Real men find their capacity for compassion within themselves.

Real men enjoy life but not at the expense of others.

Jazz musicians, Frenchman Street, New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo by Robson Hatsukami Morgan on Unsplash

Real men are creative.

Real men are always learning and on a search for truth.

Real men are not know-it-alls.

Real men are not afraid of being humble.

Real men learn to turn their anger and moral outrage to non-violent improvements.

Real men learn to steer their anger and not have anger steer them.

Real men are spiritual warriors.

Real men are green men defending Mother Earth.

Real men are in touch with their powers of creativity and healing, thus blue men.

Faith leaders pray with No More Deaths‘ Scott Warren during his trial for leaving water for undocumented refugees in the Arizona desert. After the jury failed to reach a verdict, he was retried and found not guilty in November, 2019. Photo by uusc4all on Flickr.

Real men grow their souls large, reaching out to Father Sky.

Real men are strong and gentle at fathering.

Real men befriend other men.

Real men do not shame self and others.

Real men deal with their aggression in ways that do not harm self or others.

Real men don’t run from their feelings.

Real men don’t tell boys that feelings should be shut down.

Real men honor the passages of life with rituals that matter.

“The Flow of Breath” Ashtanga Yoga Demo by Ty Landrum

Real men don’t succumb to greed.

Real men don’t confuse “soldier” and “warrior.”

Real men do not run from the “inner man” but commit to knowing and nurturing it for a lifetime.

Real men practice solitude.

See Matthew Fox, The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine, pp. 282-296.

Banner Image: Memphis sanitation strike 1968: U.S. National Guard troops block off Beale Street as Civil Rights marchers wearing placards reading, “I AM A MAN” pass by on March 29, 1968. Photo by bswise on Flickr.

Have you known authentic men in your life?  What have they taught you, be you woman or man?

The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine

To awaken what Fox calls “the sacred masculine,” he unearths ten metaphors, or archetypes, ranging from the Green Man, an ancient pagan symbol of our fundamental relationship with nature,  to the Spiritual Warrior….These timeless archetypes can inspire men to pursue their higher calling to connect to their deepest selves and to reinvent the world.
“Every man on this planet should read this book — not to mention every woman who wants to understand the struggles, often unconscious, that shape the men they know.” — Rabbi Michael Lerner, author of The Left Hand of God

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3 thoughts on “What Do “Real Men” Do? — continued”

  1. Avatar

    Pope Francis proclaims “Year of St Joseph”. With the Apostolic Letter “Patris corde” (“With a Father’s Heart”), Pope Francis recalls the 150th anniversary of the declaration of Saint Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. To mark the occasion, the Holy Father has proclaimed a “Year of Saint Joseph” . Perhaps in this year of St. Joseph more thought will be given to Joseph of Nazareth whose struggles as an observant Jew under Roman occupation might have included the need to protect his betrothed as a result of her ‘unexplained. pregnancy’. The traditional non-biblical description of Joseph as an aging virgin is the stone over the tomb of a ‘real’ man.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Thank you for your comments Gwen! And even from a biblical perspective, Joseph was not an “aging virgin” because the last verse of the first chapter of Matthew says, “And [Joseph] knew her not UNTIL she had brought forth her firstborn son, and he called his name Jesus.” This however, raises questions about the perpetual virginity of Mary. But on the other hand, why not give Joseph a year? After all he is, in a sense, our patriarch via being the “father” of Jesus…

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