This is my Halloween themed blog post. Maskulinity. Isn’t that how it should be spelled. Isn’t the prevailing cultural myth of a man mostly about the mask that he wears? We have the ultra financially successful manhood of Mitt Romney or Jack Welch. The first a Potemkin man of charismatic emptiness and the latter a caricature of scowling condescension. We have the muscled up NBA and NFL he-men and the super smooth Madmen, and every video game that our youngsters are devouring seems to have a very loud, very violent core.
So what is a man? When are you considered a man? When you get to a certain age and you are male, is that when you are considered a man? Is it when you feel like you are grown up, or have all the things that signal you are grown up, is that when you become a man? Perhaps. After all, being male is a biological fact that happens when you are born, but being a man is all cultural. There is no “right answer”. Just opinions.
There is an old Japanese saying, At forty you own your own face
Maybe this means that when we come to the realization that we own our own stuff, then we have stepped into a new way of being. And maybe that can be considered manhood. Or when we can look others squarely in the eye and take a deep breath and just be there, maybe that is a key progression. When we ask more questions than give out information, maybe that’s something.
At Open Deep and True we talk about and practice a myriad of manly (yes, women have all of these as well but it’s men that are in the programs) virtues. Focus, Loyalty, Courage, Integrity, etc… AND perhaps the virtue we spend the most time on is Authenticity. This leads to an interesting shift away from the preoccupation with “being a man”, and puts more emphasis on the lifelong practice and pursuit of “being ourselves”
So for tonight, wear the masks of Halloween with gusto. Tomorrow, however, lets put the masks away and get on with the business of being ourselves.