So rumour has it every kid has a superhero they want to be like one day. Every kid wants to fly like Superman, ride the Batmobile like Batman and have those Spidey Senses like Spiderman. But my superhero was different.
In high school, I was one of the masses who were into the DragonBall Z craze. Actually, every kid I knew was into the DragonBall Z craze. The streets of the small town I grew up in were actually completely empty at 16h30 when the words “Last time on DragonBall Z” came. Even those stray dogs were in front of the television. And I was there, waiting for my hero, the Saiyan prince – Vegeta. That Goku guy that everyone seemed to like was just toooo cheesy. The nice guy, with a nice cheesy smile, with the nice cheesy white teeth, and just plain nice and cheesy. Nice is boring.
Funny thing is that even as I grew older, there were also superheroes I look up to. These may not be cartoon characters, but are still men who have qualities I like, and whose favourable characteristics I attempt to emulate in my own life. And interestingly, so does everyone else.
Problem is, somewhere along the line, the definition of what a real man is changed. It actually really irritates me when a man is applauded for having as many women as possible, sleeping around with 6.4 women a week, drinking until he can’t walk, running away from the cops, and all that stupidity, and then we call them real man. Somehow characteristics such as taking responsibility for actions, walking with integrity and protecting women are no longer praised, and what is praised is running away from responsibility, lying, debauchery, and objectifying women. And we see this, and we smile and we say “Yeah, he’s a bawse”.
We look at rap-stars who are “making it rain” no matter what the means, and we want to be like them. We look at fools who lead women on just to massage their bloated egos and we praise them encouraging it. We praise people who have rebelliously dropped out of school and are “hustling the streets”, and we look down on those who work hard in school, university, and whatever other context their in.
A man is not measured by the size of his wallet, or the size of his rims. A man is not measured by the female trail he has, or the number of times he has evaded the cops. A man is measured by his character, and too often we have little irresponsible boys running around parading as men. Ladies have been hurt because boys are parading as men. Societies have been fractured because tiny insecure little boys are parading as men. And the worst thing of all? These boys become the superheroes of a younger generation, who too aspire to be oversized boys! And the cycle continues.
Now truth is, I’m not claiming superiority over anyone else. I too have made stupid decisions when relating females and hurt the very ladies I’m meant to be protecting by objectifying them and using them as objects for my own pleasure. I too have evaded responsibility from some of the stupid actions I’ve taken. I too have been a fool who plays with female emotion and led them on in order to make me feel better about myself. And of all of this, I’m ashamed. But every day, I take the decision to allow God to transform me into His image, so that I can become a better man than I would ever be if left to my own devices: a man that protects ladies and treats them as people loved and cared for by God; a man that works hard; a man that walks with integrity; a man that
Can the real men PLEASE stand up and can all those boys parading to be men sit down and grow up!