I don’t know how we got this confused. Women talk about men being dogs, etc. incessantly. Single black women in particular are extremely venomous in their discussions about black men.
Some of the issues have valid concerns, most do not. Ladies, you have to understand a simple fact of life that seems to have been forgotten. A man is MADE and not born. Just because a person has more testosterone, a penis, and XY chromosomes does not make a man. That is biology. A man is MADE and formed by his environment and examples shown to him.
Recently there has been a lot of discussion about a “lack” of black men that has been constantly voiced by black women for a multitude of reasons. I would agree that the pool of available men is possibly short. However ladies let me be clear, if you are below the age of 55 you have been mostly dealing with boys and have dealt with boys. Your exposure to real men is rare and like seeing a polar bear walking in the desert. Virtually impossible and a sad state of affairs because you may have never developed a framework to find who and what a man is.
A man is a product of their examples and environment. We are very impressionable beings. We learn by seeing and doing. Take a moment to think about this. When we as a species of humanity evolved and left Africa about 50,000 to 100,000 years ago how did we learn? How did we learn to keep warm, learn to find and drink fresh water, learn to cultivate crops, hunt, and fish. There were no textbooks or a little red schoolhouse in the Serengeti. We learned by the examples presented to us and by duplicating those actions. Successful or not, we duplicate the processes we are taught.
The problem today is that very few boys have had an example of manhood in their lives to emulate. There are rules, regulations and responsibilities attached to manhood. The only people who can teach manhood to a boy are a man. A woman cannot teach those lessons. A woman who attempts to is counter-productive because a woman does not know the feelings or thinking of a man. Sorry, you cannot do this alone.
Men who are fathers no matter what the situation or the mistakes made by them and their child’s mother must have a presence and positive relationship in their child’s life. A father needs to be the first positive example in a boy’s life of manhood. By extension, a father needs to be a girl’s first positive experience of what they should expect and demand from a man in their life in the future as a woman. Even if the woman and man are no longer in a relationship together neither should bad-mouth the other in front of the children, nor should they pit the child against the other parent. Keep that discord to yourselves.
Charles Nathaniel Recall was my first and continuing example of manhood. As I grow older, I realize that I have had many examples in my life. Daddy however is the first, the template that the others are measured against.
My father gave me the gifts of self-discipline, the gift of compassion, the gift of fellowship with others and with God, and a strong work ethic and most importantly he showed me how to truly love a woman. Not in a physical sense, but with all your heart and soul; how to be a mate. My father and mother readily displayed their love for one another and were married for 28 years before she transitioned to glory.
All of these gifts given and mentored to me are intertwined with one other. They build on each other and is as I have found is a template to use in building a man. In my experience and my brothers there is a similarity to the formula. My father taught me self-discipline not just thru corporal punishment but by taking me to Mass every Sunday as a boy. If you have ever been to service at a Roman Catholic Church you will realize and experience the ritualism, the process of worship. To have process is to have discipline. Going to church every week kneeling at the proper time, standing at the proper time, sitting at the proper time, reciting certain prayers and responses to prayers at certain times, the ability not to engage unnecessary talk or play during Mass and to listen all taught and reinforced the skill of self-discipline. Going to Mass every week also gave me the gift of fellowship with others. It taught me that there is a family outside of my immediate blood relatives who care about me and whom I care about. The biggest lesson I learned going to Mass with my father and is a lesson every boy need to learn to become man is this: Creation is the only thing greater than us.
In this creation we have responsibility. My father went to work every day. He also took me and picked me up from school and rotating that duty with my mother until I demonstrated I could do it by myself when I came home with my friends on the BX-38 bus in the 4th grade. When my father got paid he brought the whole check, not part or some to my mother for the house. He was the provider for his family. My mother had to force him to get his own checking & savings accounts and gave him back a percentage of his check for that purpose. That example left a profound impression on me. That example taught me to share and give to the persons I love and care about without hesitation or request. To have the capacity to be sensitive and compassionate in love for others.
My father adored my mother. I am not saying that their relationship was perfect. What I am saying is that the ability to love without prejudice, compromise, respect, lack of selfishness, embrace differences in each other, and compassion are critical in all relationships. When you have a child you automatically have a life partner. Even if the two of you are no longer together you have a partner in the upbringing of that child. All relationships have good and bad years. My parents ended on a very good year. I was and still am very secure in the love my parents shared with each other. Their example guides me in every relationship I enter with a woman. My father became the father of my older sisters when my parents got together. He loves, cherishes and is extremely proud of his daughters. The lesson I learned with that is that biology and blood does not make a father or a family, it is love. My father is a very ethical, logical (he’s an amateur mathematician), strategic (how do you think I learned how to play chess?) and is a man of integrity. Those are traits that women need to be able to identify; they need to want to have those traits in all men they interact with.
A woman with a child is compelled to have a man in that child’s life that is a positive example of faith, love, discipline, integrity, and ethics. A child was never asked to be born but is owed to have an example in their lives, like that, like my father. A boy in particular needs to have that gift bestowed upon him. Men must be involved in a boy’s life to perpetuate the virtues of manhood.
Boys are but lumps of clay waiting to be molded and formed into compassionate, loving, God-fearing, responsible, ethical men of integrity they should become. Women, if the father is not in their child’s life or for whatever reason does not offer that example the responsibility falls upon you to supply your child with that example. It is your responsibility to supply that child with a mentor who will provide that example. If cousin Pookie, granddaddy Joe, or Uncle Jim are not or cannot offer that example it is upon you to expand the net. Look in your church, look at your job, pick up the phone and call Big Brothers or Big Sisters of America. A man is formed and made. Increase the numbers of Men in America, we will save and preserve the black family, increase our levels of achievement, lower incarceration rates, and above all instill HOPE in our future. Thank you Daddy for forming and molding this person into a Real Man.
From your son with love.