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Where Have All the Real Men Gone?

Think you’re a real man? Take this test and see. It’s ironic, actually. It’s not what you think. Read what I mean in this week’s edition of “Isn’t That Ironic?”.

Are You a Real Man?

When I look around our world today, I have trouble finding many real men. Where are they? Some think they are. A few strive to be. Many are trying not to be. Most never learned what it really is to be a “man”.

Are you one? Here is the "real man" test. Tell me “if” you can do this...


If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,

Or being hated, don't give way to hating,

And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;

If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two imposters just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,

And - which is more - you'll be a man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling

This beautiful, inspiring, classic poem of Victorian stoicism will be read and loved for many centuries to come. It represents a noble aim for all of us “men”. After six decades of trying, I still can’t do it. But maybe one day, if…

This poem represents a style of thought, a belief about oneself, an understanding of that which is noblest in the heart of man, that is incredibly out of step with the times today. There is no mention of class grievances, of racial discrimination, of destructive capitalism, of climate change, of historical handicaps, of feminist righteousness, of gender equality. Funny, isn’t it. It's kind of ironic, but being a "real man" isn't even a matter of sex. These are qualities all humans should strive for.

That’s exactly why it’s universal. It speaks to our spirits. It speaks to the fact that to be a man, to find the “better angels of our nature”, as Lincoln put it, to fully express ourselves as the true spiritual beings we are, is to find all that within ourselves. External circumstances do not make us or determine our lives. We determine our lives by how we respond to the circumstances of life. Letting our spiritual nature shine means responding with love to all circumstances and all people.

The “real man” is within you. Go ahead—let him out.

God Bless You!

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