Sunday, August 29, 2010
Tough but Tender Men
Is it just me or are we becoming--on a mental, physical and moral level--soft and pudgy? I wonder what degree of fortitude we possess. Let's face it; most of us have it pretty cushy. I don't have to walk anywhere. I seldom have to lift anything heavy; the last thing I raised was my rabbits when I was seven years old. If I were to undergo persecution or some level of ongoing attack I question how much physical stamina I have to draw upon. Am I turning into the Pillsbury Doughboy version of mental toughness? As a society I feel we've got the espirit de corps of a colony of tree sloths.
I need to become tough without getting hardened. I need to develop internal toughness/fortitude without being a bad ass. I want to be like Rambo or The Rock or Steven Seagal in toughness but like Jesus in character. Jesus was mentally tough but loving and compassionate; Rambo and the boys are just tough. Jesus was the personification of love yet, like the t-shirt says, he "didn't tap out."
I see a lot of boys becoming men who are one of two extremes. A lot of men have embraced their "sensitive" side and display gentleness and compassion, but I get the sense they'd choke under any sustained pressure. And then there are the bad boys who'd loved to choke you with sustained pressure.
Does it have to be either/or? I refuse to believe so. I still hope to cultivate fortitude while nurturing a compassionate heart. Physical stamina, mental toughness, and a tender heart. That's a picture that inspires me.