Man. He’s a broken mortal who, the only thing he does best is break.
Reina and I hitched a ride with a couple friend of ours. We were heading out for a party organized among a few friends. In the car, we had a chat and I remember the gentleman saying, ‘being a man is hard.’ To which I solemnly agreed. Yes, being a man is hard. It’s harder than ladies think and it’s even harder for men who encounter the complexities of life that come with being one.
Those words prompted me to write this piece. A focus on the cracks and brokenness of manhood. I looked at faults and failures of several men I’ve had the chance to listen to their stories (mine included), and wrote about it. For the ladies reading this, I have to warn you, these real life scenarios might alter your view on manhood. But please keep this profound quote in mind.
‘Manhood is about what breaks you. And we are all broken.’ – Bikozulu.
A man will put his best foot forward to chase a woman he loves and fantasizes about. But he’ll fail. The failure and rejection will wreck him apart. It’ll crash his ego. A man will occasionally battle to withhold within himself fits of rage. They will outweigh him at times and he’ll end up hurting those close to him using his anger. A man, sometimes is afraid; he shivers and coils in his bed, feeling all alone as fear drains his courage away. These moments of fear will be caused by uncertainties in his life. And, the regret of bad choices made.
A man is a sexual pervert. A maniac. He’s enticed by the pleasurable thrills of unending sex with strangers – hookers. He’ll cheat on his faithful partner by having an affair. He’ll lie to all the women he’s dating, luring them to believe that he loves them. He’ll bait them with money. A man will struggle with sex-addiction; pornography will chain his neck, wrists and ankles, making him its slave. He’ll fall to masturbation. A man is gay and will wish to break free, but he won’t know how. So, he’ll give up on trying. A man will realize he can’t control his loins. That the reality is, he’ll always cheat!
A man will find it hard to forgive. He’ll carry with him festering wounds from the past. He’ll drink of hate. He’ll also take in hate from others. A man will bleed from hurts caused by his mother or father. He’ll detest his Dad for the kind of man he is. He’ll never get over the death of his Mum. He’ll feel all alone. Then he’ll seek solace in his drink. A man will gradually turn into a functional working alcoholic. The bottle will be his eminent demise one day. Often times, he’ll look failure in the eyes and cringe at the thought of his own inadequacy. A man will hide under religion. He won’t get drunk in public places lest he faces judgment. He’ll have sex before marriage and get a child out of wedlock. Then he’ll run away from his responsibility as a father. Or, he’ll struggle to raise an unwanted child in a dysfunctional family living miles away from his Baby Mama. A man will disappoint the community around him. He’ll get fed up with religion and boldly chase the worldly ways before him
You’ll be shocked at the smiles men put on at a time when they are breaking on the inside. Such hypocrites! It’s all about image management.
A man is a workaholic that can’t strike a work-life balance. He’ll struggle to provide for his family and spend quality time with them. He’ll get knee deep in debt. A consuming quick sand that will lead him to take up a humongous loan and not inform his wife about it. He’ll kiss ass at the office just because he needs his job. He’ll struggle to maintain a status of sorts. A public image with his conniving social class. Showing off vapour in his hands. He’ll try hard to fit in only to be pulled out of focus by peer pressure. A man will lose his investments and wonder why he can’t pile his money like other men. He’ll question his manhood over and over again. He’ll constantly wonder, ‘am I man enough?’ A man will know poverty too well – he’ll be as broke as a church mouse. In such humiliating times, he’ll look at his wife to support him. He’ll pursue his passion without ever catching a break; he’ll fail at every attempt. He’ll consider stealing. Maybe he won’t have the guts to do so. His faith and indecisiveness will rescue him.
A man will succeed in business but then he’ll be bossy. Filling himself with a bile of self-importance and superiority over others. His insecurity will come to the surface as he shoves it down his workmate’s throats lording over them with the little power he has. A coward of a man he’ll become. He’ll be arrogant believing himself to be a god. All that, just a bunch of shit!
A man still thinks about his ex-girlfriend a lot. He’ll fall out with a close friend but his self-pride will keep him from reaching out and reconciling their differences. He’ll knowingly lead an unhealthy lifestyle, eating junk and exposing himself to possible illness. He’ll live in the shadow of his father, unable to build his own kingdom. Sometimes, he’ll have a big mouth and not keep a secret. He’ll feel insecure about himself and wonder why he’s not like other men. He’ll raise his hand and hit his Mum (Damn!). And in so much pain, he’ll lose out on hard earned love.
Don’t get me wrong Amigos, this is not a lame excuse for bad-foolish behaviour. It’s about men and who they really are; broken.
For all I know, we live with our failures and they become part of our story. We hold so much hope in the hearts of others and wonder to ourselves, why do they put up with us? We don’t deserve it.
But we try. We try to be better men every day we wake up. The truth is, we are ordinary men under the watch of an extraordinary God who, graces us with strength to be extra-ordinary.
PS: The initiative to support Mike is still ongoing, be part of it today. You can read more about it here.