Response ability - On being a Man - A father's day tribute
One of the duties that every man has to go through in his life is Responsibility; Being responsible for his own shit, for his girl friend, for his kids, for his family, and for his own god damned life. He got to be strong for a lot of people.
It is very important for me to say that some English words have gotten skewed and twisted and sometimes they begin to mean something different from what they were originally intended to do.
Responsibility which once meant "response ability", the ability to handle shit and take care of it no matter whatever be it, with courage; has changed to "responsibility" as in when it can be used as a excuse to blame a person (A) and relieve another person (B) of(f) all the dirt.
A boy while growing learns "response ability" from the men around him. This can be his uncle or Father or any strong male role model, and sometimes for the lack of men, a woman. The young age is where a solid foundation can be put for him for becoming a better man in the future.
His father stays up in the garage late at night and fixes his car all by himself, listening to some Pink Floyd. So that's what men do. I'll do it too.
His uncle goes fishing in a deep lake every weekend, on a small boat, catches fish and cooks them and spends the day in the river until sunset. So, that's what men do. I'll do it too.
A group of men in his family go hunting and hiking every summer, camping in the woods at night and talking besides the camp fire, basking in its heat. So, that's what men do. I'll do it too.
When trouble strikes, mentally, monetarily, he looks at his father handle the problem gracefully without whining and bitching, but staying calm and cool. So, that's what men do. I'll do it too.
His definition on what it is to be a man shapes this way, and thus it is very important to be surrounded with male role models whom he can look up to in times of trouble. It is also important for him to have good solid friends who are not pussies to surround him while he grows up.
And with all these inputs he gets to live by a code, a code which he develops for himself all by himself based on his experiences.
Remember the dialogue from Fast and Furious 4, the scene when Brian talks to Mia?
Brian: You asked me why l let Dom go. I think it's because at that moment, l respected him more than l did myself. One thing l learned from Dom is that nothing really matters unless you have a code.
Mia: And what's your code Brian?
Brian: Am working on it.
We are all working on it.
Some are extremely unfortunate and do not get blessed with all these opportunities to experience men in life.
A scene from fight club says this better than anything. It's the chemical burn scene.
TYLER: Stop it. This is your pain -- your burning hand. It's right here. Look at it.
JACK (back ground voice over): I was going to my cave to find my power animal.
TYLER: Don't deal with this the way those dead people do. Deal with it the way a living person does.
JACK: I... I think I understand. I think I get it...
TYLER: No, what you're feeling is premature enlightenment.
Tyler SLAPS Jack's face, regaining his attention...
TYLER: This is the greatest moment of your life and you're off somewhere, missing it.
JACK: No, I'm not...
TYLER: Shut up. Our fathers were our models for God. And, if our fathers bailed, what does that tell us about God?
JACK: I don't know...
Man, you got to see Crimson Tide. The movie can be simply described in three words - "Men handling shit".
This father's day, lets honour every men who have had this influence on us. Real men around us, movie heroes, any human being who has helped us move up in life by demonstrating how it's done.
I wrote this post from the point of view of me(n). Daughters who have their own admiration for their fathers might have a different view point. Or, May be it's another blog post.