Jim Ellis Editor
People are people.
We are all the same.
It makes no difference if the support, love and acknowledgment comes from either gender. A female can give you whatever a male can offer. To consider anything else makes you a misogynist, a separatist … maybe a racist?
To that I say … ah shut up.
- The unconditional love of a mother is divine. It’s a boost that says we can never fail. Here, we are seen as pure and innocent, someone who would never go wrong. And if we did go an errant path, then we could be seen as someone who deep down was just doing the best we could.
- The love of a wife and girlfriend – that surrender and trust that says we must be doing a good job. Or that upset that says we better pick up our game.
- The support of a sister – It’s sweet; it’s fulfilling on a certain level. However, it’s more about what we as males can provide – in terms of protection and even direction – that gives us the most uplift.
Yes, even with all of these areas of influence and acknowledgment, there is nothing like the observation, identification and consternation that comes directly from a brother, a father, a teammate or even a son.
Can it even be put into words? Should I even try? Will the thought police give me shit? Who cares.
After a team meeting, I have sat there at home in the silence and simply felt my heart swell with this feeling of overwhelming love. I can feel it in my chest. I am humble yet confident, appreciative yet ready to kick ass in life. This state of being arises within me because of my way of being when present with “my men.” It’s a circle that demands I step up strong as a man – to be real, transparent, proactive and forthcoming. And so that love feeling? Perhaps it comes from a knowing that I stood in my truth and stood tall.
The resulting feeling is filled with lightness. It reveals a future pathway of hope as I am in touch with the power to take an action in life and make it matter. I get a sense of being effectual, where my actions have merit and can result in success on various levels. The feeling is a richness of soul. Not a boy’s soul, not a human soul, but rather a man’s soul.
Yes, there is such a thing in this world of duality.
In these days of gender politics and the blanding of any sense of masculinity, I experience something powerful, and I’m not ashamed to claim it.
Would I or could I get the same sort of emotional and mental result from the observation or support of a female?
And before anyone, indignant, starts asking the question, “Why not?” I can respond with “Why?”
Why must we? Can we as men and young men have the experience of brothers – our “circles of men” – challenging us, testing us, pushing us so that we can truly FEEL what it’s like to be a success? For me that sense of accomplishment arises when I have stood in the circle of men and found my place.
It’s a place of honor.
It’s a place of pride.
It’s a place of love found in the very acceptance and respect from my very own.
I am a man. And my “very own” are men. No doubt about that.
People are people. We are all the same. Yes. On the deepest level.
And yet on another level, another very real and tangible level, we men stand along side one another.
And we need to have that, for the sake of our esteem, for the sake of our love. For everyone’s sake.
James Anthony Ellis is an award-winning playwright, journalist and filmmaker, who is the author of eight books, including the men-focused “The Honor Book” available HERE.