The 365 Commitment

Man Training

I was teasing my 18 year old this morning that it was time to start his man training in earnest. This is his last year or so under our tutelage before he heads out into the wide world. I realized as I said it that his “man training” has already occurred. Everyday for the last 18 years watching me. So the joke was on me and not him after all!

That led me down the path of really asking the question of what is being a “man” about anyway? What does being a person mean, regardless of gender? We rely heavily on cultural norms, religious upbringing, family, school and other sources to guide and teach our young people how to be fully functional people. I wonder if we have ever stopped to wonder what it is that we are actually teaching? Do we have a clear curricula? Well, the answer is no. This is a haphazard thing at best.

I think major religions have filled this gap historically. Moral, ethical training is not something you sign up for in school, rather we have relied on our churches to provide that education. However, what do we do when churches are blocked out of this conversation either willfully or by inattention? Do we rely on our government through school education and the curricular they buy? Do we rely on social media and this collective hive mind? Do we rely on mass produced media? The organizations with the largest funding are probably going to control the narrative. Is that ok?

I remember being young and hanging around Grandparents. Next to my parents, that is who probably taught me how to be a person the most. My grandfather making me to drive a tractor at age 12, and leaving me to do it by myself. That was definitely a growing moment. I learned a lot in that afternoon for sure! The next day I learned to repair a damaged fence! Back to the question, what is it that that we should teach to our people? What is our ethic?

Now that I go down that path, I am not sure I can articulate in a clear and concise way what my core ethic really is. I have the platitudes down well, golden rule and all that. However, what are the things that I absolutely demand, admire, and hope for others around me? That is a very revealing thing to think about. As I thought this morning about what I have really taught my on growing up about “being a man,” I realized what at my core is really important to me.

Guy Reams

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