The real power of a man is in the size of the smile of the woman sitting next to him. - Unknown author
I'd add 'the size and the sincerity of the smile of the woman sitting next to him'.
Long time ago I was going through a personal life challenge trying to identify - for myself mainly - what value men can bring into my life, especially from a long-term partnership perspective. I tried to apply my rational mind to the dilemma, and I don't often resort to such radical measures, at least not outside of office hours.
My thinking went along the lines of 'I can sustain myself financially, I'm organised and self-contained, I can run my household well enough and can always pay for a handyman to fix things, I don't need advice in principle from anyone let alone a male, I can easily get a lover, I can even have kids on my own nowadays and society won't frown at me'. So what's the point of having a long-term partner? The downsides, in my view, definitely outweighed the positives. Ongoing jealousy issues, 'let's talk about things' conversations, having to explain my mind to another person, not to mention debates about running the household and so on. Maybe I was missing something.
So I asked my much respected and loved mentor and friend - a male by the way, and a true gentleman. He got very agitated and said something like 'You think that a man is simply a demanding stubborn human with a strong body and a d...ck, don't you?'. That was exactly the language he used. I thought about it for a while and asked 'Is there more to a man?' My mentor went on saying 'The men you have in mind are not men, they are little princesses in a body of a grown up male'.
Then we had a very heated conversation. My much loved and respected mentor got very passionate about the topic. I was listening very carefully and taking mental notes. I didn't agree with some things he said, didn't understand other things, and some things made perfect sense. The only thing that didn't quite make sense was that many females I met and I myself seemed to be more of 'a male' than many males I met in life. Only somewhat later in life I realised my mentor was talking about yin/yang energy, and not masculinity/femininity as people quite often interpret them based on appearances.
So, what qualities do people with strong 'masculine' energy bring into their lives?
It's the future focused vision, the long-term or strategic vision, the high-level vision, the type of vision that focuses on something so far away in the future that almost resembles a dream. Many people would say it's insane to focus on that long-term dream, because it's an illusion.
Yet the visionary person can tell the difference between an illusion and a vision. Often this difference would be hard to explain to people who are so focused on their every day lives and are so risk averse. So the visionary person doesn't waste time explaining, they act.
The way of a superior man is three-fold: virtuous, he is free from anxieties; wise, he is free from perplexities; bold, he is free from fear.' - Confucius
True action is never about 'busyness' and the office-home-kids-bed routine. It's never about finding another pleasure in life simply to entertain ourselves, be it another holiday at the beach or socialising with friends in a bar, just as pastime. (Not picking on beach lovers).
True action is about constant expansion into something new - new ideas, new opportunities, new projects - which trains our brain and inevitably leads to personal growth and therefore growth around us. Expanding ourselves to be greater - stronger physically and mentally, more productive, more creative, more bold. New challenges bring mental, emotional and personal growth. Constant routine brings stagnation. Stagnation is slow personality death.
Courage to make decisions, make the big leaps in life, courage not to listen too much to other people's opinions. Courage to express yourself and to stand for what you believe in. Courage to be different from the crowd, because we are supposed to be different from each other. Embracing diversity requires courage.
Not the type of courage when a person first acts, then thinks. Not courage on an impulse. But mature courage that is based on vision, personal values, made up mind and processed emotions.
A man should be able to hear, and to bear, the worst that is said of him. - Saul Bellows
Willingness, readiness and courage to change. Constructive change starts in our minds and hearts first, and then we willingly manifest it in our lives. Change by choice is always constructive, because we have the vision, the will, the courage and the power to bring it into our lives.
It's not the forceful scary change when we resist, feel violated by life, depressed and pessimistic. Not the type of change that is brought upon us by other people - who are more courageous, more visionary and more creative.
Last but not least creativity. Why? Because creativity doesn't live in fear, routine and stagnation. Creativity is about bringing in - through ideas and insights - new concepts, even if it's a concept as simple as a new gardening method. Therefore creativity requires a fresh eye, flexible mind and courage to share with others even if others laugh you out.
Creativity is what we need to make our lives better. The world needs more positive constructive creativity.
So what happens when one person has too many unrealistic ideas, keeps jumping from one opportunity to another, and is aggressively active and prone to risky behaviour? That's right we are dealing with a five year old in a body of a grown up man (woman). Then it's time to bring some balance back - the opposite energy of short-term focus, control, routine, risk avoidance and common sense.
We all have these opposing qualities of action and inaction, long and short term focus, creativity and routine, courage and anxiety. We all carry both energies - the expanding masculine energy and the contracting feminine energy. But we all carry these energies to different extents. There's nothing wrong with females carrying more of a 'masculine' energy and vice versa, as long as we are self-aware enough to understand who we are and what we bring into this world. In fact, I don't care who carries what energy as long as people can manifest in life whatever they want to manifest, and however they want to live their lives.
Yet, after that conversation with my much loved and respected mentor many years ago, whenever I meet a male who demonstrates the so called 'toxic masculinity' but in reality they don't carry the 'true masculine' energy of vision, action, courage, change and creativity, I can't help but remember the label 'little princess'.
The stronger a man is, the more gentle he can afford to be. - Elbert Hubbard