There are a few people that helped me get this understanding that now reflects on some of my behaviours.
As children, adolescents and early adults we are influenced by the men around us and this is commonly our Fathers, Uncles and close family members. The behaviours that we see tend to be what we accept as normal and overtime we produce these same behaviours. The behaviours can include alcohol, drug abuse, violence and crime. Here are a couple of examples from my childhood.
Once on vacation, my Mum and her friend and kids went back home and the boys stayed back, there we some young girls, over 18, I had no idea of ages because I was only in my early teens, but my Father and mates slept with these girls, as I grew up I thought it was ok to sleep with other girls when going steady with a girl, wrong, but a learnt habit, soon woke up to that one. My father’s way of settling anything was fitting, the same here, it took me until my 30’s to learn that was a wrong approach.
A close friends father was and alcohol, drug abuser and womaniser and the same traits rubbed off and it took him many years to learn otherwise.
As men, we have a belief that we need some of these traits to live and be accepted as a man well guess what guys we don’t, a kind heart and honesty never killed a person, that I know of.
If you have a son or daughter, yes they are a little smarter than boy’s, just remember what you do they will see and at some point if seen often enough accept that as the norm. I am not saying we can’t be angry or frustrated at times but it is the actions that we take in these moments that will have other people judging our character, the hero is the person that walks away from the fight.
My wife and I are lucky with having each other’s back without question and it has been Jane that has calmed me down.
Understanding that my father, and yours, aren’t always right. Once we understand that we can start making our own judgements and not require acceptance from them.
Most footballers I know that have king hit someone on the field years later feel remorse and regret their actions but accept it as part of the game when it happens.
Society today has changed as men we need to understand that, I am not saying don’t be you as a person, but as a reactor to situations, understand what is and isn’t acceptable.
We have campaigned against violence towards women, harsher penalties for people that king hit others at pubs and nightclubs, responsible behaviour around children and alcohol.
As adults, it is us that teach the learnt habits, just remember it is easier to teach great and acceptable habits over unlearning bad ones. When you are reading this take this moment to reflect it may take a while but think of all the habits the men around you had and write down their habits then see how many you match, you will be shocked, you may not have them now but look back as a child, adolescent and early adult
We must act in a way that is socially acceptable but not loses the values as we are as a person.
As we reflect back, we may understand some of the clouds that linger over us.