Pronunciation Guide

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Something about men, I guess?

The other day, I was reading through a part in my story. I wanted to write a blog about it then, but it just wasn’t coming out, and I didn’t have a lot of time to mess with it. I’m still struggling to figure out how to say it…so let’s just go with this:

I have a lot of very…um…“bad” men in my story. Selfish, abusive, cruel, hateful…careless men. The lyrics to this song [by Thrice] sort of sum them up:

“You were built for blessing but you only make them bleed --- 
but you don’t care, you don’t care.
And bruises are but shadows of the blackness that you breed --- 

but you don’t care, you don’t care.
The light that’s left inside their eyes is darkened day by day --- 

but you don’t care, you don’t care.
Your presence pulls the color from the world till all is grey --- 

but you don’t care…
…You don’t, you don’t, you don’t.

Cause you are less than half a man, yellow belly and crimson hands.
You will one day reap your reckoning; maybe then you’ll understand.

Your hands were made to comfort, though they only conjure fear --- 

but you don’t care, you don’t care.”

Pretty much the first time I heard this song --- really heard it --- it made me think of all the guys I have that go to the inn. And it made me think of guys in general. …But for a different reason. …I’ll explain. [I think.]

The inn-guys don’t care. They are the ones that are going to do what they want, without any regard for the anguish and horror and destruction they’ll leave in their wake. The ones that go against their true design, who use their strength for violence and selfishness and cruelty. They are, at the core, men who have given in to a very dark form of cowardice --- a cowardice that seeks only to please itself, and very often at the expense of others. [And it doesn’t have to be in a sexually abusive way, as it is in my story. A man who hides from his family is denying his design just as much as a man who attacks his. …As is a man who pretends to love a woman in exchange for sex, but has no intention of ever marrying her or truly being with her. …Among a thousand other examples.]

There are many people in the world who view men as bad. Who view their strength and often natural bent toward aggression and violence as bad…something to discourage, to prevent. Who want to emasculate them, tame them, lock them all up. …Who want to make them “safe”. [By the way, this has NOTHING to do with personality. This is about design.]

…I cannot stand this mindset. It makes me want to scream. …Seriously, I can feel my hands itching to clench into fists even as I write this.

…In some [misguided] respects, I can see why many have come to this conclusion. After all, men commit more violent crimes than women. Men act out in aggression more than women. Most of the prisoners throughout the world are men. Men seem angrier on the whole than women. …But to me, this is not a sign of men themselves being bad…but of good strength gone wrong.

What if men were made stronger and more aggressive…to be a blessing to the people in their lives, to the world? To use that strength to do the opposite of the guy in that song?  To use that strength to bring light, to bring hope, to bring life? To use their hands to comfort…to protect…to uphold those around them instead of tearing them down?

What if men weren’t meant to be safe…but good? What if “safe” is NOT synonymous with “good”?

What if what this world needs…are some really dangerous and really good men to step up and fight for their wives? their children? their families? for justice? for truth?

…This is one thing that I very much want to show in my story --- that men are GOOD. That strength is not inherently bad --- it is what you DO with that strength. …That even those who have been terrible, who have been abusive, destructive, violent…who have used their strength for evil purposes…can change and use their strength for good. …Hands that once conjured only fear…can become hands of comfort. …For there is redemption.

I read something in a book a while back, and it has stuck with me. I don’t know exactly how the author phrases it, but it basically goes like this: “A scalpel is a dangerous instrument. It is sharp, and it could kill you. …Or it could save your life. You don’t make it safe by making it dull; you put it in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing with it.” [Resisting the urge to find this in the book…resisting the urge…resisting…]

…Men are like scalpels. You don’t make them safe by making them dull [by emasculating them, criminalizing them, condemning them, rejecting them]. …You put them in the hands of someone [God] who knows what he is doing.

…End spiel. =)

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I read some of your blogs!!! I like this a lot!
    Now, I have no idea what kind of "profile" I should select! So I'll just choose one!?!
    K, I'm choosing anonymous - but just know this is Jake!