Let me start off by stating that I will be specifically addressing the men, but I also hope that it resonates with the women, and their opinions about the same topic.
When I was a little boy, I learnt about the concept of a ‘gentleman’ by watching TV shows and movies. The notion of what a man should be like fascinated me, and I came to the conclusion that my grandfather, without a doubt was the ideal man. He was the perfect example of sophistication, and was truly a gentleman in every sense. I can only hope to become half the man he was. But since his passing, I have tried to inculcate such values, and in doing so I have become more aware about the general behavioral patterns of the men around me. Sadly, the men of our generation are not in tune with the real values, ideas and virtues that have been considered crucial for a man since times immemorial. I will be mentioning my observations and inferences about what is actually lacking in the millennial men, because I believe that we need a solution to this problem now more than ever.
First of all, I have noticed that the men don’t have discipline and lack punctuality. The concept of a daily routine, which may include activities such as waking up early to exercise or study, seems too daunting for them. Their situation can best be described as a ‘mere existence’ in this world. They are living without a true purpose or a goal in life. For instance, when asked why they chose law as a subject for higher studies, they reply with a simple answer,’There was no other option.’ Every man should live for something; a purpose that goes beyond his personal gains.
“A man should not stand still while the world passes him by, he should continually push himself and stay ahead of it.”
Another thing lacking in most men is the acceptance of responsibility. They tend to blame others for their mistakes and failures and refuse to accept responsibility for what is going wrong in their lives. I have noticed this common trend that most of the people are not interested in attending classes and studying the subjects properly throughout the semester, but when it ends and the exams come closer, they all start blaming the teacher for “not teaching properly”. No one accepts the fact that when it comes down to it, they are the ones at fault. There is another aspect of responsibility, which relates to a video that I watched recently. It was by Casey Neistat, and in that video he explained that there are always certain obstructions in your life, and it is you who converts those obstructions into excuses, which ultimately results in the non-fulfillment of your responsibilities.
“A man knows and accepts full responsibility of what’s happening in his life, and he does his best to change whatever he doesn’t like.”
But the biggest problem that I see is the disrespect shown towards women. They often indulge in the objectification of women, which we can agree that normal human beings with standards of decency should not do. Shelina Zahra Janmohamed has rightly said that to suggest that ‘men will be men’ is to allow the cycle of dehumanizing women to continue. It would mean to believe in a male archetype that exonerates men both from maintaining standards of decent behavior and then further releasing them from taking consequences of their actions. Men should not behave like animals and then pretend to be men. All it takes is for men to challenge other men who talk and act this way, and to say out loud that this is unacceptable.
“A man treats women with respect. If you don’t respect women, you’re not a man. Period.”
In addition to this, men have forgotten the real meaning and value of their family. I have seen men not talking to their family members for days, and even when they actually talk to them, they are disinterested and feel forced or obligated to make contact with them. Family can also be extended to the close friends and colleagues, in which case everyone of them should be given respect for the love and care they show towards you. In the words of Vito Corleone from the movie and the book ‘The Godfather’,”A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.”
Now, I am in no way the authority of what a man should be like because I am not perfect either. But it is in this realization that I find plenty of room to grow and learn, because even though these are very basic values, in today’s time, they seem the most difficult to inculcate and carry out. Even if you did not grow up with a role model to follow, you should not allow or accept to lose a chance of becoming a conscious human being. If you did not grow up with an example, you should create one for the rest of the men to follow.
“For a man to achieve all that is expected of him, he must regard himself greater than he is.” – Johann Wolfgang
This article was written by Shaurya Gulati