How many roads must a man walk until he truly becomes a man?
This article was inspired by an Italian friend of mine who has arrived at a crossroad juncture in his life where many of his goals have not been realized reinforced by early thirties paranoia that seems to creep up on us males with little or no warning.
Listening to my friends concern with a sympathetic and understanding ear could not deter me from identifying the many contradictions and bewildering experiences that have accompanied me on life’s weird and not always wonderful journey. Today’s male is under scrutinizing pressure to be a) a modern day romantic b) full of ambition and c) a successful professional type somewhat in the mould of ‘Darcy’ from Bridgette Jones.
The many males whom may read this article will instinctively identify with this and roll their eyes at the PC with disgust and even contempt and what they may have experienced over the years.
What contempt? The females will ask how hard it to be a romantic and success in a chosen arena is. OK let us first address the first area of concern – successful male – a wise man I knew once said ‘let a man not be judged on the fortune he amassed but on how fortunate his friends were to know him’. this man was a successful property developer and was a rarity in that he believed by being good to people lady luck shone on him on numerous occasion throughout his fruitful 63 years. It seems that in today’s society power, wealth and acquisition holds more distinction than generosity of the mind, heart and above all time. When we die it wont write on our gravestone Joe Bloggs died on this day at the age of so and so leaving behind 10 houses and ?200,000 in the bank, we can take it away with us (although this concept has been difficult to communicate to some of my Mediterranean peers).
Another misfortune I have come across is extremely talented and gifted males who either have not been given the opportunity to showcase their niche or due to economic or social conditioning were diverted from their true love of art, music, languages or dance to work in a greasy spoon or supermarket staking shelves just to make ends meet which is more than a familiar story to us living in one of the world’s most expensive cities. Talk to those individuals about their ambition during their youth which was dampened or distinguished as a result of unforeseen circumstances or by being born into the wrong family.
Whilst anger and distortion is evident surrounding career or chosen path in life, the modern male has to contend with understanding a species which caused painful bewilderment and fascination form the age of 5 – THE FEMALE.
This on ongoing circus has unfolded over the years for poor chaps everywhere in numerous scenarios. From the days of secondary school where the girl you had a crush on was more concerned with the perverts who were 20+ who loitered the gates after school throwing a cheap line while simultaneously increasing the volume knob on their 1984 Capri. Alas we turn 16/17 and think it cant get no worse only to discover that the girls who attend college with us have now focused their attentions to young charismatic teachers who are now twice their age or to University Preppies who use words encompassing more than three syllables, always a challenge to the 16/17 year old whose friends constantly use the word ‘init’.
Some females may think I’m being unfair and that indeed ‘it cuts both ways’ however the modern male always seem to have more harrowing reminders such as that of a woman who is constantly abused by her partner or spouse but somehow develops chronic amnesia come Valentines day or the maverick who treats her like dirt and has a trail of female admirers in his wake but seems to land on his feet due to his healthy bank balance.
So please ladies understand a man who becomes disillusioned or disgruntled when he hears constant female gripes of how today’s men are not romantic or chivalrous when all he has to do is walk down his local city centre to see a woman man handled in the road who instead of walking away picks her delicate bleeding self and runs after the culprit with cries of ‘But I love him’.
Its all enough to give the most sane male a bout of chronic depression which should be nipped in the bud almost immediately as come 40 there will be other trials and tribulations to contend with such as the male menopause, a.k.a mid-life crisis. Once again this can be bought on by favourites such as women, finances, mother in laws, lost youth or sudden realisation of flaws such as gambling, alcoholism, womanising, and so on.
However I do have faith and sympathy with my kind as I too have picked up on these events that provide us males with such distortion and sometimes anger. How many roads must a man travel until he truly becomes a man? well there may never really be an answer for that but please wise women of the world who can see beyond superficiality and materialism be gentle and patient as the roads he travels have no signs, are intertwined, and sometimes even come to a still, but give him time, as I promise you from the bottom of my heart he’s worth it.