Dishwashers in the Revolution

Actively bringing about much needed change in our communities and hope to the broken and disheartened.

Demanding More: A call to good guys to keep being good guys

“Conformity, it seems all so wrong because I always knew that all along I’d find solace in things important to me. And that’s the way I want it to be…”
– The Ghost Inside

“I woke up today and felt my age for the first time, in both my mind and body. And my thoughts are less of fitting in and more of being a better man, I just want to be a better man.”
– Stick to Your Guns

“I know that what’s in front of me is a reflection of what is inside of me and I see that I need to be myself because it’s so lonely in the eyes of someone else.”
– Stick to Your Guns

“I am, most importantly, never concerned with what I am not.”
– Stick to Your Guns

The society we live in today is different than I think most of us imagined it would be like when we were kids growing up. I don’t know exactly what I thought life would be like when I grew up, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t exactly what I see the world as today. The pressures of society on individuals to fit a particular profile weighs heavy on us all. I know that as a young man I have felt many of these pressures recently, and there are parts of me being pulled in every direction as I attempt to plot a course for my life. I have taken solace in many of the above song quotes, to know that I can be who I am without being concerned about the way society might judge me for it.

Let me give you a small example of what I mean. Here is a song lyric from a popular song (Blurred Lines):

Yeah, I had a bitch, but she ain’t bad as you
So hit me up when you pass through
I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two

It’s a catchy song. Really is. I’ve been caught singing it multiple times. In fact just having looked up the lyrics online now has the tune of the song stuck in my head. Therein lies the problem. We all listen to music, it’s just a part of life. You can’t go a day without listening to something, and if you have – well you were probably in a coma and even then you subconsciously heard whatever music the nurse in your hospital room was whistling while she changed your IV. But we sometimes sacrifice message for a good beat. I work with young kids who can sing this entire song – even though they have no idea what it means. It’s subliminal messages that teach our kids how to act, how to “have a good time,” and how to treat women and/or men. But aside from what our kids are hearing – what are WE hearing and how does it impact us?

If I break down what the three above lines are saying to me, it’s essentially a message on how to treat women: 1) My current woman is a bitch. 2) I’m not looking to commit to you, but if you hit me up when you’re in town, I’ll sleep with you. 3) I’m clearly full of myself.

The funny thing is – some guys buy into that type of character and emulate that the best they can. They don’t treat women with respect, they walk around all cocky, and they don’t care about anything or anyone but themselves. But I know not all guys are like that – maybe not even most guys, I don’t really know. I do know that the stereotype that guys have is that we are all like that though. The societal message that is then passed through which tells guys that to be a “real man” you ought to be that way is ostracizing toward men who choose not to be like that.

Well all I’m here to say is that some of us are good men. There are some of us out there who value women, who want to work hard, who strive to be better men and not conform to the society that tells us we are “squares.” To those men out there like that – keep being like that. Don’t feel the need to be pressured to be someone you don’t want to be. It’s ok to listen to music and not wish you could live the life they sing about. It’s ok to be sensitive. It’s ok to feel strongly. It’s ok to have opinions. It’s ok to be different.

I think it’s important for men to be able to think of others before they think about themselves. The ability of the family unit to not just survive. but thrive, has often rested with men and their ability to serve the needs of their families above their own needs. I’ve always told my kids that the choices they make in life right now are going to impact the way they make decisions for the rest of their lives. The same is true for young adults. It’s important to be selfless now, because someday when you have a family who needs you – needs your love, your protection, your guidance, your presence – and all you’ve done up to that point in your life is think about yourself, well then it’s not just a flip of the switch that changes you. Too many marriages fail because people were selfish and put themselves above the needs of others. Chivalry doesn’t have to be dead. It can be alive and well – you don’t have to give in to the pressures of society to be a giant douche bag. You can be a man, a strong man, and care about the people around you.

“Become a black sheep with me.
Follow a flock inside to assemble, and rally.
Or fight the flow, and light the fuse…”
– The Ghost Inside

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This entry was posted on November 5, 2013 by in Ryan's Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , , .
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