FIVE: Things Every Man Should Grasp Before…
I sat out one day in a world without a father and pondered… What the hell did I miss growing up that a father was supposed to teach me… As a child with no father you often pondered RNS like this and eventually you play catch up to the other bruthas or you are just absent of a trait/characteristic/backbone/ discipline or whatever it may be from that absence or as theorists like to refer to as deprivation. So I embarked on a journey asking some men, married MEN, who were raised by fathers what are some things they believe men should know, be able to do, become aware of or quality they should possess in order to be minimally self-sustaining for themselves and their families.
This list is only five deep, nothing close to exhaustive and it covers only really basic “additions” to a man’s inherent personality. This list obviously leaves off the personality qualities of communication, caring and all that jazz, and is strictly skills that can be acquired.
These are the TOP 5 things EVERY MAN SHOULD GRASP BEFORE he can consider himself (A) a man (B) A man worthy enough to marry a woman (C) A man worthy enough to marry a woman and raise a family.
5. Ability to do manual labor: i.e “without supervision or hiring of people”
I know some of you are thinking… NINJA “I ain’t no SLAVE” and I would hope you aren’t a slave to commerce. A MAN should know how to use his hands and use them effectively. I’m not talking about building a hut or a house, chopping down trees and paving roads. What I’m talking about are the basics of hands on life skills. A man should know how to clean the entire house without help, I mean lets get real here. How many bruthas know how to watch dishes right the first time, mop, know which cleaning supplies belong in which room, what things you don’t spray in the kitchen and which things you don’t mix that will have you falling out in bathroom. Vacuuming, washing clothes, cleaning the toilet the right way so there’s not a dark ole stain around the inside. JUST BASIC ISH
A man should know how to cook everything he likes to eat. I mean EVERYTHING. IF you like to eat it…. NINJA –AT LEAST– you should know how to make it. That’s just for you but for a family you should know how to prepare a meal in case your wife cannot, does not, will not, or simply did not want to. IT IS 2012, a man that has to depend on a woman to cook his food IS NOT a MAN but a HOSTAGE. Every man, Especially a black man should know the basics of basic soul food…
Fried Chicken= Hot Oil, Chicken, Seasoning, Flour
Greens= Greens + Boiling Water + Seasoning
Beans; pinto, black eyed, northern, lima = BEANS + Boiling water + seasoning
Mac & Cheese= Macaroni + Cheese
It doesn’t stop with simple cooking and cleaning because that is child’s play. I’m also talking about KNOWING the BASICS of house maintenance. A man should not have to call anyone to come PAINT, Fix a hole in the wall, replace a door knob, door, toilet, faucet handles, screen door, cabinet handles, cabinet doors ANY OF THAT STUFF. These are the basics of general house maintenance, not to mention landscaping, basic gardening, trimming, anything that involves your house or your castle you ought to know how to keep up the general look of the place. I’m not saying you need to know how to change the wiring or plumbing, IT would be nice but you get my drift.
4. Ability to say no; i.e “backbone”
This one escapes many so called men these days. Some how some way, extreme weakness, has crept into the likes of many guys. This weakness is never on display until someone calls them into question, subjugates them into compromising positions or when you come across a woman you REALLY REALLY LIKE or marry.
As a man you HAVE to learn how to say no to people. It is easy to just go with things to not make anyone feel uncomfortable (but yourself) or you don’t want to step on anyone’s toes but at the end of the day you are losing and virtually becoming spineless. I didn’t expect this to come up from the men I talked to at all but each of them said the same things. This isn’t just as it relates to women but other men will prey on your weakness. They will know that you are spineless and have you doing all types of things for them that you didn’t think you’d ever do. “Well MR. PRIVATE THEORY how can a guy develop a backbone.”
It is simple to say but hard to do. You have to develop some type of morals, beliefs and standards about yourself. I’m not talking I don’t eat beef standards but you need to have an understanding of who you are and what you will and won’t stand for. EVEN when it comes to women. An awesome woman is not going to want a guy that is spineless, lets her do everything she wants to do, says anything she wants to to him and is dainty about everything. She won’t respect you for you and you won’t respect you. I left women for last because they seem to be the hardest to say no to. Especially for women we like and EVEN more so for a woman we are intimate with… It is THEE *expletive* hardest to say no to a woman when she has your heart and double that when she has your *expletive*…
Ask fathers about their daughters or ask daughters about their fathers. Many of them had severe leverage over their fathers and that is because women, young or old can touch the soul of a man in a divine way. There is something about a woman in regards to a man that just softens us to the core. Just ask Adam about Eve and he’ll tell you.
3. Ability to negotiate: “market wisdom”
Yeah bruh, this is where it gets even more real. This one is not easy and definitely comes as you grow. With time comes knowledge and experience and with experience comes wisdom. If that wasn’t simple enough, you want the wisdom mane. Negotiating is one hell of an exhilarating task. It makes your heart race, your nerves get tested, your knowledge of the subject gets tested and your backbone really gets tested. You may be thinking in the 21st century where will a brutha have to negotiate; we aren’t trading.. Well yes you are…and all the time I might add.
Every transaction is a trade, when you purchase McDonalds you are making a trade when you buy ultra thins you are making a trade. Being knowledgeable on these markets is fine and very basic but I’m talking about a step further than this. I’m talking real life, grown man decisions, like buying a home, negotiating a mortgage interest rate, buying a car from the dealership, getting your car looked at, buying furniture, appliances, negotiating contracts and knowing when to walkaway.
As a man this can be your golden key to life and a career. You MUST know the conditions of any market you or your family will participate in. When you shop for a home you have to know the market prices and what sellers are willing to accept to save yourself money and time. You don’t just walk up to a house and buy it for the asking price (only under certain conditions) IF you do… you are being had. Most people are trying to make money and if you are a fish out of water and do not know how to crawl and don’t know what you are doing they will try to make as much money off of you as possible. Don’t believe me… ask the millions of Americans who were just HAD by predatory lending. The big banks we think are so noble and business like preyed upon people who were fish out of water.
Now the advantage to this is knowing beforehand or being had one time and never again. Now you may say, “Mr. Private Theory I know how to work my way through a room full of vultures…” then I say… but what about your wife or children. This isn’t a trait people naturally have. Your wife may be extremely savvy like a TRUMP when it comes to business decisions and negotiations or she also may be a complete airhead and go with whatever they tell her. You need to be able to understand the market enough to explain it to her if she’s going solo or turn the game off before your wife/girlfriend gets hustled at the auto-mechanic for an extra $40 bucks.
This one isn’t easy because it requires you to be extremely active and it will probably cause you many days of stress but the fact you are not being had by everyone is a must to run a successful family, life, business and everything. Never forget we live amongst capitalists…they will capitalize on your ignorant behind every chance they can so get yourself educated, experienced to avoid being that big dummy!
2. Ability to plan; “Visionary”
If you are going to be a man you need to be able to plan. Plan your birthday party, plan your moms funeral, plan your son’s elementary school, plan for retirement, plan for your wife, plan your finances, plan for your exit out of this life, plan your wedding, plan your life, your career, your goals, your family goals. EVERYTHING
If you ask me life is one big plan that keeps on changing but regardless you have to be able to plan ahead. This is number 2 because it hits home for so many people not just men but as a man your ability to plan is must. –Where there is no vision the people perish.– This is not some old bible tale but is true through and through. You have to have some sort of guidance system in your life and a plan is usually that. A plan does not need to be permanent or perfect but it needs to prepare you for your future steps and this is accounted for because you have simply counted them out.
This is extremely important in regards to finances and relationships. Marriage is a planned event, your career is a planned event. Some things may happen unexpectedly which disrupt or make them difficult but so what. You don’t want to go through life wasting time, one of the reasons why you get an education is to become more efficient, you make a plan also to become more efficient in life.
As a man in regards to family you need to do some serious planning and I’m not talking planned parenthood. I’m talking real life hard decisions, how many kids will you have, where will you live, what school will they attend, how much will spend on your mortgage, how much are you going to save each week, WHO your wife will be, the list goes on and on. Finances are the hardest to plan because you usually marry a living person with a history, debt and obligations but planned accordingly you could become extremely wealthy and change the economic outlook of future generations. Every decision you make has a ripple effect on the future and if you don’t plan your ripples accordingly you could drown yourself without even knowing it. There is no magic to planning but patience and serious thinking about what it is you want to do with your life and who you want to do it with… Even the man who says he doesn’t want to plan has made a plan already.
1. Ability to seek God, “Faith”
I might have lost some of you but I don’t care. As a man the single most important thing I was told (and believe) and our greatest privilege as a man is our ability to seek God. I’m not speaking loosely of God either I’m talking God as in Jesus. NO Ambiguity!
Each step, each turn in life, for those who believe, is ordered. As a man you are supposed to be the spiritual leader of your household and your family. If you cannot lead your family in prayer and study than you are just a third party member of the house. Your ability to be a leader, to plan, to make effective decision comes, for those who believe, a higher power. You may say “Mr. Private Theory but i’m no christian” and I can careless if you are. I’m talking about a relationship with God.
A man should be able to accomplish the basics of your families walk through faith, especially prayer. “For as men ought to always pray and not faint” Your wife may be more endowed in the faith department but that does not excuse you. Families are a joint effort and your inability or ability will either detour, destroy or develop your families spiritual standings. “Mr Private Theory but WHY”
It is simple, marriage. Marriage is the most dynamic, volatile and chaotic partnership you will ever embark on. If you plan to marry and are without God than you are really on your own. Marriage is not a social creation but the first institution created by God for Man and Woman. Marriage takes on more responsibility than we could ever plan for. Living with another person for life is scary and choosing the right person is even scarier. The commitment and dedication required is not earthly. All of the successful, monogamous, strong, inspiring marriages I have ever seen have been centered around God. Many of them have struggled but survived and thrived. I want that, I’m sure many of you do too. So as a Man, in order to deal with a woman, everyday of your life, you will need some help.
Each man I asked said that “Love isn’t enough”,
One told me
“love only gets you to the dinner table. There is more required than a simple I love you baby, lets have sex and it will all go away There have been days and months of pure, unrivaled animosity between my wife and I and if it wasn’t for God on a number of occasions I would have left, beat or neglected her. It took everything out of me to not do it and when I was empty and ready to go my strength, love and compassion became like new; it is unexplainable, it is not pixie dust or fairy wands, it is something more than real that cannot be found anywhere else”
All of the points here were collected from 10 married men. After looking at a lot of the things they said to me something really resonated. They spoke about utility. A man’s utility to a woman is essential. In a day and age where women are more equipped to live a life without a man you must ask yourself what do I offer that qualifies me to be a Husband. What am I worth… We know love and marriage don’t deal with WORTH, but attraction does. The previous FIVE points are guides to prepping yourself to have the basics of an authentic manhood. These things will all complement your “style” and “personality” but if you have these FIVE BASICS you are in good standing to be not only a married man but a MAN unto himself! and that my fellow squares is worth achieving…
With that… I leave you with the FIVE: Things Every Man Should Grasp; BEFORE
*** People asked about the 10 Married Men to get an understanding of the context in responses.***
8 Are fully Black
2 are bi-racial but look black
All make over 50k
5 never went to college
5 have 4 year college degree
2 are from tri-state
6 are from minnesota; raised by deep south parents
2 are from deep south
3 were over 45
4 were 35-44
3 were under 35
Hope this gives an idea!!