“If a man does not have an ideal and try to live up to it, then he becomes a mean, base and sordid creature, no matter how ‘successful.’” ~ Teddy Roosevelt
On Friday, I blogged my thoughts on what I’ve learned through my 22-year journey in striving to create and maintain a lasting, healthy marital bond.
Saturday night, over dinner, champagne, and soft music I asked Bill the following. I specifically asked him in first person tense. I was NOT trying to trap him; I sincerely wondered if he ever thought of himself striving in any life endeavor separate from “us.” And if he had such thoughts, it would be OK with me:
“Honey, where do you see yourself—what do you see yourself doing 5 years from today?”
Well…Bill didn’t skip a meter. Didn’t stop for a moment to ponder and process the question. He spoke of lofty plans, unfolding dreams, expectations of success, prosperity…all prefixed with:
Bill Roddy is serious about Manhood. He truly believes a man MUST take care of the family he creates. He doesn’t just consider this a necessity; he considers this a privilege. Why a privilege? This is what he told me:
“Manhood needs a positive reason to go out into the world. Yes, we men have a propensity to want to slay dragons all day long. It’s how our brains are hard-wired. But we have to slay dragons for a higher purpose. Slaying dragons just because we can and because dragons exist, can move manhood into selfishness and callousness. Even I feel uncomfortable in the company of such men—men who live for self. I can only imagine how a woman feels around them.
“There is no higher purpose for a man than the safety and well being of women and children. Of course I know that you are fully capable of taking care of yourself. That’s comforting to know that if something happens to me, you are able to support and maintain our standard of living.
“Still, I get up each morning wondering:
- How can I be a better man for her?
- How can I go out and do things that make her look upon me with pride when I come home to her?
- How can I maintain the where-with-all to secure those material goods that keep her protected?
- I can certainly indulge myself in a lot of ego driven, ego-serving, selfish things. They might even be loads of fun! But would any of those indulgences be worth the pain of seeing her tears?
“Man-hood with a purpose greater than itself is the key to a man-life of health and peace. And health and peace make for privilege—the privilege of a satisfied, empowered life.”
Well said, my love. Well said. Thank you.