For my first post, I thought I’d break down the qualities or traits of what I think makes a man evolved. There are a lot of definitions out there describing ‘man’, like Metrosexual, Renaissance/Universal Man, Cave Man, Playboy and my favorite; the Hobosexual. Each one of these focuses on one aspect of the man – some positive and some not so positive. The evolved man encompasses the best traits of all of these.
1. Tough. A lot of my female friends have told me, above wanting a guy who is sensitive and loyal, they also want a guy who is a ‘guy’. This means someone who is masculine and tough. I’m not talking about being an Ultimate Fighting Champion, but someone who will stand up to challenges presented to him – whether another person or a situation. Throughout my life, I have met a few men who are tough as nails. You know, the kind of guy who despite having a physical injury will go work 12 hours in the ‘trenches’ and not complain about it – because he needs to feed his family. The guy who is so tired from exhaustion, he can still push himself a little more to finish the job at hand. Now a days, I meet men who can’t even use a screw driver and screw to hang up a picture; or is afraid to get his fingers dirty; or sits on his ass when people work around him. An evolved man has the physical and mental toughness to persevere – to meet challenges and not give up.
2. Takes care of himself – This means his health and personal appearance. I think if you take care of yourself, it is a reflection of what you are capable of. Some guys I’ve met have literally given up on themselves. They wear sweatpants and (Red) Crocs and don’t even bother with haircuts, because a baseball hat will do the trick. The evolved man is well put together – he is fashion conscious (not obsessive), well groomed and physically fit. This is the guy who can pick out his own wardrobe, gets a regular haircut, trims his nose and/or ear hair, and works out regularly (not just weightlifting but whole body). He cares about himself.
3. Able to express a complete range of emotions. There are essentially four basic human emotions experienced in life: sadness, anger, happiness and fear. Men generally experience anger and happiness but sadness and fear are pretty foreign. Why? Because it represents loss or threat. Guys deal with this by repressing their feelings, because they don’t get it, and therefore can not express themselves verbally. This is probably why men usually end up getting ‘pissed off’ when women try to share their emotional issues with them. The evolved man not only understands he has more emotions than anger and happiness, he is able to express them. More than that, he is not concerned with what people will think of him. He cries when he is sad and doesn’t care if people think he is weak. He hugs his buddies and not care if people think he is gay. He expresses his emotions because he feels them.
4. Diverse knowledge and interests. I started making more female friends because I found it difficult sometimes to have deeper conversations with my guy friends. There is an extent to which I can talk about girls, cars, sports or gear. The evolved man can talk about any subjects and has diverse interests. His knowledge base and interests read like the categories of the magazine section at the big box book store.
5. Takes care of responsibilities – Man Up! This is a trait I feel passionate about. I am a firm believer that we need to be accountable to the choices we make. As a father, it is a privilege for me to have a son and I do not take this for granted. Basically, I am no longer responsible to just myself. In fact, on a list of priorities, I have been downgraded a few notches after, my son, my wife and my family in general. What this means is that my actions directly affect the people I am responsible to. In my life and having worked as a career counsellor, I have met many men who have this sense of entitlement that frankly, pisses me off. After months and months of job search, they would refuse job opportunities because the work is ‘beneath’ them. Meanwhile, these guys have a family to support and they are getting deeper into debt. Maybe its just me but if you have a family to take care of, then maybe you need to check your ‘ego’ and do what it takes to make it happen. The evolved man knows what his responsibilities are and takes care of them above his own needs.
6. Respects women. It is weird in this day and age and in a Western society to even talk about respecting women, but it’s amazing how many men still think of women as objects. To be specific, sex objects. I catch man staring, scratch that, drooling when they see beautiful women. It’s not even subtle and it makes me ashamed to be a guy. As the guy said in the 40 Year Old Virgin, ‘use your peripherals’. Of course respecting women go beyond just not getting caught staring. The evolved man treat women and the roles they play as equal to their own – whether colleague, wife, mother or friend.
7. Strives for personal growth. There is so much going on in our lives and in the world. Its cliche to say its moving fast. With all these demands, the evolved man is able to look at ways to better himself. He strives to understand himself so he can grow. He looks at ways to achieve balance in himself and in the roles he plays.
8. Provide service to others. I guess the sexist word to describe this is ‘gentleman’. Providing service to others go beyond just to women. My Uncle Bob is a great example of this. When he and I go for walks in town, it takes forever to get to our destination. The reason is that he opens the door for everyone – young, old, male, female. It didn’t matter. He’d go out of his way to greet people – a friendly nod, a hello or a smile. I’d ask him if he knew all those people but of course he didn’t. Uncle Bob told me its the polite and courteous thing to do. Its about respecting people. The evolved man is sensitive to those around him and strives to provide service to them.
So this begins the journey of this blog and I look forward to building a like minded community. The evolved man is well rounded, a guys guy, emotionally strong, well put together and dynamic. It’s James Bond meet Dr. Phil.