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  • Writer's pictureMen's Corner

Being a Man — a Life from Inside Out.

Updated: Jul 2, 2019

“What makes the desert beautiful,’ said the little prince, ‘is that somewhere it hides a well…”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

The world has always been confused about what being a man is, and today this is true more than ever before. In the past, men had to be tough and efficient, work hard, grit their teeth, and silently endure the hardships of life, while keeping their emotions hidden...even from themselves. Today, when we have machines to do our work, and armed professionals to do our fighting, we no longer depend on men to fulfill these roles. Having had this freedom to look at men from a different point of view, to hear the stories told not only by their comrades but also by their wives and children, we have now decided to re-examine men's place in society...and seeing behind the macho-man mask worn by the man of the past, we have found things that are too disturbing, too dark to look at...

Deep in his heart of hearts, the man of the past was a coward, just like his father once predicted; he was a little boy inside, too weak and too scared to admit, even to himself, that what he needs, most of all things, is his father's love and approval. Instead of acknowledging his father-hunger, he hid his shame behind a mask, and pushed himself to excel at things he thought would make him a man. Having achieved a reasonable success -- in sports, work, on the battlefield, or in his mastery of the money-making game -- he was harsh with everyone who wouldn't live up to his standards, even his own children...

Especially his own children.

Today, he is exposed. Because of the anger and the shame behind the heroic image, the abuse behind the closed bedroom door, and the cold silence, we turned away from the man of the past and his macho image as a masculine model -- that godlike figure who was too high to reach, too cruel and too demanding. In our anger, we coined the term 'toxic masculinity' and deeply hated everything that reminded us of the man of the past.

The king is now dead at last...long live the king!

The man of today is now here, and this is his age.

The man of today gets on with everybody. He is kind and compassionate; he loves nature and cares for all living beings; if there is anything he hates at all, he hates racism, sexism, and, most of all, he hates 'toxic masculinity'. He loves diversity, especially when it fits the definition and category of his time and age; he loves people of all races, and never eats food that hasn't been produced with the planet's best interest in mind...

He is also a man without roots, a man cut off from the masculine line of his forefathers to which his father was meant to connect him. He is a man whose deepest source of strength -- that restless energy that drives him to excel in his work, the force that forms his beliefs, and forges his future -- comes from a place of unhealed pain, a place of torment and grief, where a little boy sits alone in the dark, unloved by his daddy, untouched by his daddy...

You see something familiar here?

Yes. Not much has changed.

Both the man of the past and the man of the present are scared little boys inside -- both fatherless, both alone, both lost in endless striving to prove something to their fathers...

* * *

The masculinity of the past was based on external efforts and performance, although its aspirations for courage, strength, and hard work, were based on good, true qualities of what a true, solid man should be.

The masculinity of the present is also based on external efforts and performance, although its aspirations for peace, compassion, and acceptance of others, are indeed based on good, true qualities of what a true, solid man should be.

Where is, then, true manhood to be found? If we find the masculine model of the past to be false, dangerous, and cruel, and the masculine model of today to be a mere reaction to the pain inflicted by that generation of cold, detached, and harsh stoics of the past, where then is the truth?

What can we find in men, in our deep nature, that is worth holding onto, that is worth protecting and cherishing, regardless of times, politics, and the treacherous nature of our quick-tempered, iconoclastic, disillusioned, angry culture?

The answer, as I have seen it, is this:

Deep calls unto deep.

Or, in other words, the answer is inside, not out there, in the world.

If we are to find a man's deep nature, we must first make room for that deep nature, we must give it space, nourish it, and cultivate it, before we even know what it looks like. And if we do want to see what it looks like, we must begin to look at the things that have always been a part of a man's nature, regardless of the surrounding world and its culture; we must turn every stone, looking in books, films, and untold stories, in old rituals and ancient writings; we must examine everything that has ever worked to make a man gain a sense of aliveness, destiny, and purpose...

And this is what we are going to do.

I hope that, if you stay with us, you will begin to see a new world unfold before your eyes, a world that will call to your deep nature, that will make you feel at home, restore your boyish curiosity and bring you closer to your roots as a man. This world, created by men for other men, will give you a chance to learn about many subjects, experiences, and ways of life from a number of men who had gone before you. You will sit at the feet of elders, fathers and sages, some long gone yet immortal, some still living and working, for the benefit of so many of us.

This is how it was always meant to be.

A man was meant to live, learn, and thrive, in an environment created with him in mind.

With great respect,

George Stoimenov


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