“The movie heroes who affect me most are not extroverted. They don’t strut, speechify and lead armies. They have no superpowers. They are ordinary people who are faced with a need and rise to the occasion.” – Roger Ebert
My sister defines “masculinity” the way Roger Ebert defines a hero. A hero is somebody who does what needs to be done without whining, complaining, or fear. If they have fear, they feel it and do it anyway, to borrow another phrase. And as a result, they grow. They put their big boy pants on, they strap the proton pack to their back or wear cape and cowl like Batman, and do what needs to be done.
That is what I have to do to finally get it done.
My whole life, I have done anything but. I have played it safe, picking and choosing activities and “challenges” that I kinda knew I could do going in. I did them well, in fact excelling in many cases, for the same reason why everybody in my life – many of them truly exceptional and extraordinary people – have put up with me all this time. Because to quote my friend, “YOU CAN DO THIS.”
I’ve just never believed it.
I can blame it on my father, who abused my mother in front of me. Is that the reason why I am where I am and have done what I did? Absolutely. Is that an excuse? Absolutely not and with equal, if not greater measure. As I myself have noted, because I an exceptional at talking the talk, the world does not know or care about any of the reasons why I am not walking the walk. The world just wants to see results. They can only give me what I show them, and although I show a lot more than the average person, I can’t show everything to everybody at every time. And frankly, I shouldn’t have to, because it ultimately doesn’t matter. Like Michael Hutchence said, “all we’ve got is this moment,” and when you are living in that moment, that’s what counts. Not what you did yesterday; not what you plan or intend or say you’re going to do tomorrow. This moment. Where you’re expected to rise up and be a hero. Do that, and you’ll be a man, my son, “Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,” you’ll be BIG, Cube, Nas, and ‘Pac, #1,2,3,4 and 5, and that’s not even your motivation for doing it. You do it because you have to because that is why a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. That is what manhood is. Not making excuses. Not rationalizing failure or dwelling on past mistakes. Not avoiding or shrinking from challenges out of fear.
You don’t have to do it tomorrow. You can take kaizen steps. If you don’t feel like doing X, Y, or Z, do whatever the first step is and stop if you can’t go any further. If you fail, you fail, but you MUST try again. Whatever it is you need or are expected to do, DO IT. Don’t shrink from the challenge, just do it like Nike.
Be a man. Be the hero.