When Men Mattered – Excerpt from The Honor Book

Jim Ellis 

There was a time when men mattered.

And it was more than their gift of a simple 300 million sperm (sperms?) that helped – post ejaculation – in the continuation of the human species.

There was a time when men mattered.

A time when you could actually say you were a “man,” taking a stand as a man, not to be followed with a strange look, an embarrassed snicker, a confused stare or a homophobic dash away.

There was a time when being a man arrived with certain honors:

  • Guiding the young males on their journey through initiations into adulthood.
  • Showing the ways of the force – tying a shoe, tying a tie.
  • Teaching how to smile while telling the white lie to ma and sister, in order to keep the peace.
  • Allowing a young one to falter and fail, watching on – with pure patience – as the young ones figured it out on their own … but not alone.
  • Glowing with pride – with no need for acknowledgement – for the success of those influenced by their presence.

This wasn’t the Father Knows Best “know-it-all” dad or the Brady Bunch “bad-hair” dad. But the father of fatherhood – that ancient way of being for the purely masculine, when men mattered.

It was a time when the men were the protective force, watchdogs for bullies who would harm the feminine. It was a time when the men were the ones picking up handkerchiefs for those who caught their fancy or who had clear enough “come hither” messages. It was a time when men held pride for the success of something outside of themselves – the influence they had on family, community, society, humanity.

This was a time before they destroyed themselves by making sure their masculine presence didn’t matter.

  • Out of fear
  • Out of laziness
  • Out of stupidity
  • Out of selfishness
  • Out of depression
  • Out of hopelessness
  • Out of unconsciousness

Whatever the case may be, it is time to awaken, to a time before. And awaken to a time that is now. Perhaps, just perhaps, the time when men mattered is not a time period at all. No, it might simply exist across all timelines and time-frames, born in the primordial, and ready to be reborn in the present now.

Men having value? Men mattering? Yes, there is a time…

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.

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2 thoughts on “When Men Mattered – Excerpt from The Honor Book”

  1. Hi Jim: Last week I had two young boys 10 and 12 and their father in my back yard. There is a fire pit that I’ve used for my men’s team for 30 years. The boys turned to me on how to start a fire. I looked at them and absolutely knew the right answer. Ask your father and there are two axes in the shed.
    I would never rob a father and his sons on how to build a fire. It was an honor to sit back and make their father right.
    Thank you for confirming my actions.

  2. Mr. Ellis, Thank you fro the message and reminder…

    I believe Men matter more now than ever, for those of us who have intentionally chosen to take a stand it is important to understand that we are being watched by boys and Men everywhere to see if we will be shaken enough to hide in the shadows from the responsibility to take ownership and be accountable for what is happening all around us.


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