Despite popular conceptions, the ideal measure of a man
Is not gauged by braggadocio and aggressive displays
Nor by number of toys or lovers a man collects –
Although many try in vain to attain manhood in these ways.
Taking advantage of others does not qualify either;
It marks a boy misguided, living at others’ expense
Closing off one’s heart to others also misses the mark
These approaches to manhood make little sense.
Yet these are the mainstay of the contemporary male.
It is difficult to claim men are indeed superior,
When he is, by most measurements, no greater than woman,
Though this guy considers his feminine counterpart inferior!
The ideal conception of a man is closer to androgyny;
For centuries, men have been putting the horse before the cart;
Despite ongoing domination of the world by man’s impulses,
It still does not resemble a world Closer to the Heart….
Man does best when controlling urges to aggress and dominate;
‘An eye for an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind’…
With the dubious advances made through the centuries,
Hypermasculinity is why a utopian society is hard to find.
Caring for children and loving fellow man are surely noble goals,
Even if they don’t amass wealth or conquer one’s enemies.
Being modest and authentic are indeed noble virtues;
Slashing and burning benighted compared to planting trees.
Peace and love should be goals sought above all else,
Including dominance, wealth, and status in a profession;
Size should become passe as the highest mark of a man;
By growing emotionally, man can transcend such transgressions.
The ability to control urges may be the true measure of a man;
‘It is the weak who are cruel; expect gentleness from the strong;’
Lying, cheating, selfishness, and greed necessarily detract;
Such ignoble actions are not manly; but rather, simply wrong.
Here is another poem, this one about integrating opposites: “Every Coin Has Two Sides”
“The Truly Noble Man”, © Jason Merchey 2000-2017