The Virtuous Man

  • THE REAL MAN – By Thomas Ryder
    “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you,    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, but make allowance for their doubting too;    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,  Or being hated, don’t give way to hating…” —Borrowed from R. Kipling’s poem “If—”
    This poem’s beginning delivers to the mind an important aspect of what a man should be: secure but not arrogant, determined but not proud, patient and not given to falsehoods.   But Real Manhood has become a concept of the past in our sad modern age and such is a real tragedy.  With the loss of manhood, a crucial aspect of the Divinity is gone from our planet; lost, vanished, and relegated to the category of the unimportant and not politically correct.  But some still long for the Real Man… at least real women do. The nostalgia of the inherent values of a Real Man is still at times felt in the air by a few, and it is to these few this page is dedicated.

    “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster  and treat those two impostors just the same;    If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken  twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,  Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,  and stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:  If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,  If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you…”

    The Real Man is one who possesses a great sense of stability within and thus is able to communicate it to others and create around him that same sense of the stable, calm, secure and good. The Real Man knows how to remain above it all. He lives his life based on principles and thus does not change direction with each wind that blows. The Real Man knows that others will look to him for security and direction and he takes it as his mission to give it; he expects no earthly reward in return. It is his mission as a man. The Real Man is kind and patient with the good but firm and implacable with evil. He is not a fool and believes no lies and yet, never lets hope die in his heart.  The Real Man is humble and thus acknowledges that he is nothing without the aid of a higher power. He bends his knees and prays. The Real Man is thus pious. His notion of piety is not sentimental, but militant. He was placed on the battlefield of life to aid the good against the evil forces and piety is where he obtains his internal strength. The Real Man is therefore a friend of God and thus he is pure; his hero is none other than Jesus Christ, true Man and true God. The key to the Real Man’s purity of body and soul is self-control. He knows his worst enemy is within and not without.  He knows he cannot win the external battle unless he first wins the internal one and that any alternative is a piece of fiction. The Real Man did exist and he can come to exist once again… When mankind has finally fallen on its knees and beaten its chest with great compunction for its many sins, the Real Man will again make his appearance and fathers will again be able to say to their sons, “Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!”

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