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home : blogs_old : ability and accountability September 15, 2014

Ability and Accountability
By Richard Haddad, Prescott Valley, AZ
"[Children] don't remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are."
"Please watch out for each other and love and forgive everybody. It's a good life, enjoy it."

-- Two of my favorite quotes by Jim Henson

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What makes a real man?

 By Richard Haddad

Photo by Richard Haddad
"When he put her down I couldn’t help but turn my camera to capture this subtle moment as he held her hand..."

What makes a real man? What characteristics should a good man possess?

A few years ago I was feeling somewhat testosterone-deficient as I sat in the bleachers of a rodeo event surrounded by a crowd of larger, stronger men of the cowboy persuasion.

I am not a big man; neither am I an athletic man. I have always been a thinker and a creative person and there have been times when I wondered if I did my four sons justice in providing an example of a real man.

With boots and broad shoulders the men around me cheered at the announcement of the final event, the bull riding competition, for which they had waited anxiously.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw a man sitting with his little girl as she clutched two baby dolls. She tugged on her father's jacket and declared, "I need to go potty." I watched as the man turned his attention to this small child and carried her down the steps. My vision of a real man was sharpened.

When he put her down I couldn't help but turn my camera to capture this subtle moment as he held her hand and led her toward the restrooms. The crowd cheered for the cowboy in the arena, but I saw a real man quietly walking behind the bleachers.

This man knew where his priorities fell, and that made him strong in my eyes.

Here are a few other character traits all of us, as men, should strive to possess:

Honesty: endeavors to tell the truth; is sincere; does not mislead or withhold key information in a relationship of trust.

Integrity: stands up for what is right and tries to be his best self.

Keeps promises: especially promises to his wife and children; honors commitments; pays his debts.

Loyalty: recognizes that loyalty to his own family should come before loyalty to his friends, or loyalty to a team or a sport.

Responsibility: thinks before he acts; considers consequences and is accountable; not too proud to offer an apology.

Diligence: pursues excellence and is not considered lazy or a quitter.

Kindness/Caring: shows he cares through his actions, never striking or threatening a woman or child in anger, or ruling anyone with fear.

Respectful: understands common courtesy; is tolerant, appreciative, and accepting of differences.

Fairness: treats people fairly; keeps an open mind and listens to others.

Good citizenship: obeys the laws of the land; respects authority and, through his example, teaches his children to do the same.

Only a Dad - By Edgar Guest

Only a dad with a tired face,

Coming home from the daily race,

Bringing little of gold or fame

To show how well he has played the game;

But glad in his heart that his own rejoice

To see him come and to hear his voice.

Only a dad with his brood of four,

One of ten million men or more

Plodding along in the daily strife,

Bearing the whips and the scorns of life,

With never a whimper of pain or hate,

For the sake of those who at home await.

Only a dad, neither rich nor proud,

Merely one of the surging crowd,

Toiling, striving from day to day,

Facing whatever may come his way,

Silent whenever the harsh condemn,

And bearing it all for the love of them.

Only a dad but he gives his all,

To smooth the way for his children small,

Doing with courage stern and grim

The deeds that his father did for him.

This is the line that for him I pen:

Only a dad, but the best of men.

Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Article comment by: Chris Bergman

Amen! Now let's teach our daughters that they are worthy of nothing less than this kind of man and our sons that they are not worthy of the title "man" until they begin to embody these characteristics. bergman_blogs@yahoo.com

Posted: Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Article comment by: Kimberly Riggs

I am proud to say when I read this two people in my life came to mind, my father and my husband, these are traits that are not so common now days. I think few people see things as the really are. And as we can see not all heroes wear capes, most look just like you and me.

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