Came across two nice articles from First Things‘ website this weekend on 50 things a man should be able to do and 50 things a man should never do. Some of the points, though American oriented, are worth a good examination of conscience, and one can add a few more to a list which obviously isn’t exhaustive. Here some that caught my attention:
50 things a man should be able to do:
1. Forgive your parents – They did the best they could . . . or they didn’t. Either way, you’re a man now so it’s time to move on.
2. Ask your parents to forgive you—You know what you did. They do too. [how simple and yet how hard]
6. Comfort a child—If you want to judge the character of a man, observe how he treats a child. He may not have any himself—he may not even like kids—but if he can provide them comfort when they are scared or hurting then he can’t be all bad.
7. Cook one signature dish. [like boiled rice or fried eggs?]
10. Write three coherent, connected, and grammatically correct paragraphs—If it’s really necessary, you should be able to repeat the process well enough to add three more. Unless you have a job that requires extensive writing, that’s probably all you’ll ever need to get by. [for the Nigerian: say three coherent, connected and grammatically correct sentences without slang, pidgin or local language]
11. Navigate your way around an unfamiliar city without getting completely and utterly lost. [without a GPS]
16. Tell a spellbinding (though not necessarily true) story.
20. Tell a joke that is (a) clean, and (b) funny. [basketmouth and co.]
25. Recite the Ten Commandments from memory—If you remember them, it’s easier to follow them; if you follow them you’ll avoid about 90 percent of the self-inflicted damage that will screw up your life [for Catholics add: The Creed, The Rosary].
30. Push-start a car with a manual transmission. [Drive a manual transmission car]
34. Make it through the rest of your life without saying the thirty-seventh dumbest sentence in the English language: “I have to learn for myself.”
35. Endure an insult with grace.
37. Load, shoot, and clean a firearm.
38. Admit being wrong in a situation that will cost you dearly.
39. Physically protect your loved ones and be willing to risk life and limb if necessary to keep them safe.[What do you think your Beards, Muscles and Baritone voice are for?]
40. Lead your family in prayer. [Pray]
41. Cogently explain and defend your most fundamental beliefs, preferably without raising your voice.
42. Hug another man.
43. Take harsh criticism without being defensive.
44. Differentiate between love and lust—and avoid the latter.
45. Recognize wisdom and know how to get it.
46. Help someone who is vomiting (without throwing up yourself).
47. Write a letter of recommendation.
48. Write a love letter. [Write a letter]
49. Avoid the Three A’s That Ruin Your Life: Anger, Adultery, Apathy.
Personal additions that come to mind:
Change a tyre
Change a bad fuse or a dead bulb
Know how to say no
And then 50 things a man should never do:
8. Punch [hit] a woman for any reason other than to prevent her from causing another human being serious bodily harm.
12. Know the complete lyrics to a Lady Gaga song. [I wholeheartedly agree!]
13. Criticize another man’s wife in front of him.
14. Pierce any part of your body. [tattoo any part of your body]
15. Care about fashion. (It’s okay to care about style, but not fashion. There’s a difference.)
16. Be drunk in public [be drunk anywhere].
17. Post drunken pictures—of yourself or anyone else—on Facebook.
18. Spend more than three hours a week playing video games. [this one elicited a good number of comments justifying why man can play videogames for more than 3 hours a week]
19. Expect praise for doing what you’re supposed to do (e.g., take care of your kids, clean up your own messes, work for a living).
20. Show fear in front of a dog or small child.
21. Sit while a pregnant woman has to stand.[sit while a woman has to stand]
22. Forget where you came from or who helped you to get where you are.
26. Use the bathroom in front of any woman that isn’t a nurse (including your wife).
27. Refer to oneself as a “playa.”[or a stud]
31. Correct someone’s grammar unless (a) you are asked to do so, or (b) getting paid to do so, (c) the person is both under the age of eighteen and your own kid.
32. Be afraid to work hard.
33. Embarrass a father in front of his children.
34. Cry while watching any movie other than Old Yeller, Brian’s Song, or Rudy.
35. Go more than a year without reading a book. [true!]
36. Take cues about sex, marriage, fatherhood, or masculinity from watching popular movies and television shows.
37. Stop and ask for directions when a woman is in the car. [em not actually]
39. Allow a bully to go unchallenged in any situation
43. Wear clothes emblazoned with cartoon characters. [including manga and hip-hop artists]
46. Wear too-short or too-tight shorts.
47. Get upset when women tease them. (Yes, women can say things about men that men can’t say about women. That’s the way it is.)
50. Curse in public.