I got into a rather interesting discussion with a few friends, the group I call the Caballero Club, as to the importance of being a Gentleman. The standard comment, “become a Better Man”, was thrown around, till a simple question came about. Why? Why do you have to become a “Better Man”? An even more critical question came about in the form of what IS a “Better Man”? After a 3 hour debate and 2 bottles of wine later, we came to a conclusion that satisfied everyone present.
Every boy, as he grows up, has men he looks up to for particular reasons. These men shape and mold the child’s vision of the Ideal Man he wants to become. Maybe it’s the dependability of his Father or the respectability of his Grandfather. Maybe it’s the financial success of his Uncle or the artistic skills of his older brother. Maybe it’s the discipline of his coach or the intelligence of his teacher. Some of these role models might not even be people he knows personally or even be real. It might be the talent of an athlete or the courage of a Super-Hero. As the boy grows older, so does his Ideal Man.
With every experience the child receives and with every mentor he meets, his Ideal Man takes shape and is defined. And so is created the Ideal Man within every Man. He would be that hero for every boy as they grow up, especially for boys that need a hero in their lives. This Ideal man would be greater than the actual people who inspired his fabrication.
Unfortunately as the boy becomes a young man, and that young man becomes a man, this Ideal Man gets lost along with most of the fantasies of childhood. Maybe it’s lost within the teen angst, or a sarcastic society, or even the pessimism of simply growing up. Whatever the reason, we lose our focus and stray form the path. We focus on being right, instead of being correct. We focus on winning, instead of succeeding. We focus on excuses instead of learning. And we end up with a shell of the man we were supposed to become. Till we hit bottom and our very core is rattled. That’s when you get a realization of just how lost we got along the way. A more horrible fate awaits those that never realize they got lost.
Some men, especially if they have kids, realize that they must go back to the Ideal Man they lost. They understand that it’s their integrity that got lost along the way, and strive to find it. They open their eyes, and realize they must again strive to become of those men that inspired them in their youth.
So, to answer the question, what is a “Better Man”? One that would have inspired the child you were.
Why should you strive to become this “Better Man”? So you can find the man you were meant to have been.