I got a message from someone on Twitter the other day telling me that they work at a shelter for women with children... and wanted to let me know that my blog has been inspirational. I'm so thankful for the feedback and thought this would be an important subject to write about...
Recently I came across a website that I found very interesting. It's called The Good Men Project which is written by men who are sharing their stories about defining moments in their lives. It was started in 2009 and they set out to start an international conversation, that no one else is having, about what it means to be a good man in the 21st century. And with over 5 million visitors joining in every month, it looks as if they've done exactly that.
I love that men are aspiring to be "good men" and are sharing it. I know some very good men that are always trying to better themselves. I've also known men that could definitely use some improvement...and that's putting it lightly. I wanted to write about this article to share a man's perspective on what defines a good man....here's what is has to say....
♦◊♦ 'While there are many ways to size up a good man, the most important measure is the way he conducts himself. A good man isn’t perfect—he’s a mensch, not a saint. But his behavior is aspirational, and he works hard to uphold a standard. The list below is by no means definitive, nor is it meant to be all-encompassing. But it’s surely a good start at characterizing the modern good man.
5 Things a Good Man Does...
- A good man models respectful behavior. At home, at work, in social situations, even encounters with strangers, a good man always behaves respectfully, not only because it’s the right way to treat others, but also to show others the right way to treat people.
- A good man honors his families—the one he grew up in and the one he forms—and considers them as one. If rancor arises within or between them, he quickly quells it, and he tolerates no divisiveness or sniping.
- A good man is generous. He expands his life beyond home and work and gives what he can—his time, his expertise, his resources—to people who need and to causes he cares about.
- A good man manages his emotions. He expresses his feelings but doesn’t wallow in them. He is spontaneous but not impulsive. And rage is not in his range of behavior.
- A good man values his time. He completes his work and enjoys his leisure, but he doesn’t fritter hours away on meaningless activities or mindless entertainment. And those he loves come first on his calendar.
5 Things a Good Man Doesn't Do...
- A good man doesn’t objectify women. He knows the difference between appreciating beauty and reducing a person to the sum of her parts. And he teaches it to his children, too.
- A good man doesn’t glorify violence—he abhors it. He understands that fighting may be necessary—to protect the innocent or defend a nation at war. But he sees violence as a last resort that has no place in everyday life.
- A good man doesn’t avoid responsibility or stay on the sidelines. If it’s his fault, he owns up. If it’s his job, he steps up. When the game’s on, he suits up. And if a person or principle he values is threatened, he stands up and steps in.
- A good man doesn’t take foolish risks. He keeps what he earns, doesn’t gamble, spends smartly, and invests wisely. He wants to enjoy his future and therefore doesn’t jeopardize it.
- A good man doesn’t use force or power to intimidate or control, because ultimately, his conduct is more important than the outcome.'
-This article was written by Thomas G. Fiffer ♦◊♦
What are your thoughts about this list? I think it's a great list to get a conversation started. I think that men could learn a lot from it. Here are a few more of my thoughts about it specifically....
First of all, I'll admit I had to look up the word 'mensch'.... it means "a person of integrity or honor"...in case you were about to google it;)
I don't necessarily like the word "abhors" violence in general. Toward women, yes, but there is a time and a place when I believe a good man steps up and shouldn't hesitate protecting his family...but the explanation clarifies it to mean this, I think.
The other one that I would slightly disagree with is to "honor his families..." Yes, I absolutely agree about the family he has formed or chosen, his spouse, his children... But depending on the kind of family he was raised in, I believe he has a choice to make. If it happens to be a negative environment to bring his current family into, I think it's also a good man that recognizes that and makes the decision based on what's best for his current family. I just don't believe in ALL situations they should be considered as ONE.
I think this would be a great list to show your sons. Having two stepsons myself who are growing into "good" young men, I've seen them make mistakes, but have seen how those mistakes changed them for the better. It's so important to point them toward the right path. No one is perfect; mistakes will be made. The important thing is to own them, learn from them, and grow... always uphold a standard for yourself and always aspire to be better.
If you happen to feel like there aren't any good men left, they're out there. Everyone deserves to have a good man in their life. It's our job as women to not only be good women, but to believe we are worthy and deserving of a good man.
For more information on the Good Men Project or just to check out the male perspective....visit the site goodmenproject.com