I have heard so many people say this to me more than enough and still don’t know what it means. I have asked several people what it means to be a man and there have not been any repeated answers. The answers are usually unique based on different people. Even when people ask me what it means to be a man, I still have no clue. 

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I think this is because people are different and each individual should be able to explore the different aspects of their individuality. It means that each man is different and each man should not be afraid to explore every aspect of his masculinity. Most men are usually not willing to deal with the ramifications of being their complete self which is why we try to be like other people. Being a man to me is being your compete self and no one else.

But there are certain things that we need to know about the journey of self-discovery. The first is respect. Respect to self and respect to others. Respect to self means holding yourself in high esteem, knowing you are good and worthy of being treated well. A lot of people who lack respect for others do not hold themselves in high esteem because when you know you deserve to be treated well, you will then treat others with the same energy

The second is accountability. A lot of people lack moral standards which makes accountability to self so difficult. I mean, what are you benchmarking against. Are you benchmarking against what other people are doing, what if those metrics are wrong? When we begin to realize that accountability to self is important, we will then begin to develop the right morals. We are also accountable to others. As a human, one of the greatest thing you can do is to extend yourself to other people. Care for people, look out for people, fight for the right causes. You might not end up saving the world, but you might be able to save one person

The final point is Consequence, A lot of us grew up without understanding or learning consequences, we then moved into the world with this same mindset. Bro, there are going to be consequences for your actions and this is not always the one you get in heaven, most times, you get them physically. If you are brave enough to do the act, save some bravery for the consequence.

Finally, in this journey/process you might not have the answers to every question about being a man but do not afraid to find out what it means to you. This is your call to action. Do not be afraid to discover yourself, but in this process, be respectful, accountable and know that there will always be consequences for your actions/inactions.

With Love,

Nifemi Aikomo