Tag Archives: manhood

When I Am An Old Man (Repost: Top 25 of Year One)

Photo used by permission: from Avi Revivo {http://revivo.co.il/blog}

by Michael Mitchell

As we get started here again at the beginning of another new year, a lot of folks I know have made New Year’s resolutions. I have a few things on my list of goals for the year, but technically none of them really qualify as resolutions. In order to help me feel better about my general lack of New Year’s resolutions, I offer the following list of Old Man resolutions; things I would like to be, say, or do when I am an old man. For the purposes of this post, I am defining an old man as someone in his mid to late 80’s.

Without any further ado, when I’m an old man:

  • I will carry candy in my pockets to give to kids at the grocery store and at church. Who knows what society will be like by the time I’m an old man… maybe I’ll need to stick to doing this at church.
  • I will wear bib overalls with nothing under them a large majority of the time. Obviously when special occasions call for it, such as the ones listed above, I will change my attire. However, I’ve always thought there’d be something really freeing about spending my days wearing a pair of bib overalls with nothing under them. Unfortunately this is a luxury of the old… but I’m willing to wait.
  • I will be really nice to some people and really mean to others. I will be extremely inconsistent with this one and make a sport out of trying to be obnoxiously rude and overly kind to the same people multiple times each day. I know this will throw people off, but I will get a good kick out of watching how they react. This would never fly today, but when I’m an old man, people will probably just take it and think to themselves, “Bless his heart.” or “He comes from a different time.” This too is a luxury of the old. Continue reading When I Am An Old Man (Repost: Top 25 of Year One)

A Weekly Dose of Life Lessons for Dads of Daughters

excerpted from

by Michael Mitchell

105. Let her steal your nose from time to time. I promise she’ll give it back eventually.

(photo: guzi4real)

104. Staring contests are a great way to pass the time. Making faces at her will give you the advantage in more ways than one.

(photo: unknown)

Continue reading A Weekly Dose of Life Lessons for Dads of Daughters

A Weekly Dose of Life Lessons for Dads of Daughters

excerpted from

by Michael Mitchell

109. Teach her to appreciate a good book. “Children are made readers on the laps of
their parents.“ -Emilie Buchwald
(photo: to kill a mocking bird)

111. Teach her to shoot a gun… even if it’s just a Nerf gun. A girl with the confidence to
fire a weapon can accomplish anything in life.
(photo: life magazine) Continue reading A Weekly Dose of Life Lessons for Dads of Daughters

Real Men Are Punctual

I recently attended the memorial service for a man who, by everyone’s account, had lived an incredibly full and blessed life of 77 years. The reverend eulogizing this fine man described his incredible gift of woodworking—of creating—and his generosity with that gift. The reverend mentioned his military service, his beekeeping, and the loving family of which he was the patriarch. The reverend listed the distinguishing aspects of his character—those qualities by which he’d be remembered by friends and family alike. Among that list was this statement:

“He was honest, punctual, and direct.”

Honesty and directness are the type of qualities I’d expect to hear listed in such a memorial, as they’re the kind of deep-rooted values that drive our major life decisions, the kind of values we’d all hope would be remarked upon when we pass.

The mention of punctuality didn’t seem to fit the category of the other two. And so, over the next few days, I asked myself two questions: First, How considerate of time must a man have to be in order for his punctuality to be remarked upon at his passing? Second, why does punctuality matter, particularly for the man trying to understand his identity?

The answers to these two questions sort of merged together in my mind into one response. For the root of this answer, I turned to an unexpected source: a corny, silly, and not particularly well-remembered movie, Blast from the Past. Admittedly, it’s not the place I’d normally expect to find the answer to any meaningful question, but there my memory leads me.

“Manners are a way of showing other people we care about them.”
-Adam (Brendan Fraser)

I think we can agree that this aphorism is intuitively true. Next, we can also agree that punctuality is part of manners. The transitive property then tells us that punctuality is a way of showing other people we care about them.

A punctual man is telling others through his timeliness that he cares about them, that he respects their time and their obligations enough to be where he said he’d be when he said he’d be there. Such a man merits the utmost respect—the kind of respect he’s showing others by being on time, all the time.

A punctual man also understands what tardiness implies about his own identity. He recognizes what a consistently late man is. A consistently late man isn’t malicious, nor is he odious. But he just isn’t aware. He isn’t foresighted. He’s a bit selfish. He’s somewhat careless.

So punctuality provides us with two opportunities:

One, to show that we—as real men—care about others.

Two, to show that we understand who we are and who we want to be.

From “Finding Manhood,” by David.

Manhood and Relationships

Note from Editor: Reposted in honor of Father’s Day, 2011

I read the following quote not too long ago in a book about NFL great, Joe Ehrman and I couldn’t agree more with his assessment of what being a real man is all about.

“Masculinity, first and foremost, ought to be defined in terms of relationships. It ought to be taught in terms of the capacity to love and to be loved. If you look over your life at the end of it… life wouldn’t be measured in terms of success based on what you’ve acquired or achieved or what you own. The only thing that’s really going to matter is the relationships that you had. It’s gonna come down to this: What kind of father were you? What kind of husband were you? What kind of coach or teammate were you? What kind of son were you? What kind of brother were you? What kind of friend were you? Success comes in terms of relationships.

And I think the second criterion – the only other criterion for masculinity – is that all of us ought to have some kind of cause, some kind of purpose in our lives that’s bigger than our own individual hopes, dreams, wants, and desires. At the end of our life, we ought to be able to look back over it from our deathbed and know that somehow the world was a better place because we lived, we loved, we were other-centered, other focused.”

Joe Ehrmann (quoted from the book Season of Life by Jeffrey Marx)

Well said mountain of a man sir. Well said.