I’m at an age where a lot of my peers (men) re-jigger their lives. New careers, divorce, cross country moves. It’s the start of the time 35-45 where people know what they want, and where the baby boomers went asunder into “mid life crisis” land.
I’ve been grappling with these issues myself. What’s better for me? What’s better for the world? What do I want to be when I grow up?
I watch men trashing former employers, spouses and business partners. They play the victim, and it’s all the same:
“I worked so hard and all the bitch did was spend my money.”
“I worked for them for years and I did all the work and someone else got all the credit”.
“I was too honest to stay there, nobody honest makes it in [insert business here]”
Does anyone believe this shit? Does anyone truly think that these stories are real? We say them to have some excuse to not living up to who we are meant to be, but only a failed businessman trashes his former partners.
Only a failed man trashes the mother of his kids. (And a failed woman, their father).
We’ve all heard them all before: listen for an hour to to a radio host like Dave Ramsey or Dr. Laura and there it all is. The same stories of heartache, financial chaos, and someone looking for permission to indulge their (sex drive, ego, wanderlust). We also hear the people that make other choices that are “proud” that they did it differently. The noble martyr bullshit. They absolutely need us to know that they took the high ground. Ugh.
Both of those are wrong. I recently concluded that there’s only one way to measure a man.
The measure of a man – the only real one – is how he leaves the people he encounters. Does he improve them? Does he enhance everyone that he interacts with? Is there a reasonable chance of a reasonably good outcome from working with him? Does he do the right thing and create a solid foundation? Or does he leave women, partners and jobs worse off, ruined and wanting, when they no longer suit him?
I don’t understand why you’d ‘fess up’ to anything not working out with a spouse or indulge your fantasy that things were worse then they were. All that stuff is a too-easy hook.
A locust man is the thing I’m trying hard not to be. To make sure that whatever happens, I do the best I can to help everyone (customers, partners, family) that comes around to me. If I do that, all the time, if I arrange my affairs to help, then I can look on my life and say it was well-lived.
That’s a man worth being, a life worth living. Monsters and mayhem aside, that’s who I want to be.