- Being trustworthy.
- Knowing when it’s safe to butt in, and when to leave them be.
- Being a part of the journey, not a face along the way.
- Saying sorry.
- Knowing you’re crazy and not caring.
- Knowing they’re crazy and not caring.
- Taking the time to listen not just to what’s said, but what isn’t said.
- Understanding, as opposed to judging.
- No gossip. About you to other people, or other people to you.
- Sharing in the bad as well as the good.
- No unnecessary drama.
- Epic dance parties, whenever and wherever.
- Keeping you at heart though you may not be in touch.
- Seeing each other after years and it only feels like a day.
So I was totally convinced that I’d already written something on this incredibly important topic: love. Apparently I was either dreaming, daydreaming, or had recently taken some melatonin…not sure which.
In any event, I’ve given a lot of thought on this subject, and my thoughts on what it means to be a real man. I almost considered the approach of quantifying it – bringing it all down to a list of what you do…but fact of the matter is, you can fake it and still not be a man. You can be a total jerk and still come off as everything you’d imagine in the perfect man – charming, cute, funny, chivalrous, strong, with a dashing mustache, or whatever you may imagine.
But being a man isn’t about what you do. You can be an auto mechanic, businessman, factory worker, schoolteacher, entertainer, or anything else you can imagine, and still be a man. It’s about who you are. And what is it that really makes a man?
I always find it funny when experts come out with some sort of new idea as to why it is that people in our generation don’t marry as often or as young as previous generations. There was an article a couple of days ago in the Daily Universe that talked about technology being a possible reason.
The reason our generation doesn’t marry as young or as often is because we don’t understand what love is.
More than anything, it’s a real understanding of love. Not mushy, overly-emo, ridiculous Hollywood story ‘love’.
“When a man loves a woman…” (Thank you, years of listening to Michael Bolton…)
Hollywood and the rise of entertainment in general has led us to think that our lives have to be storybook perfect. That if there’s a snag, we have to abandon ship. That sparks have to fly, entire nations have to crumble, and the world has to completely turn around when we fall in love.
Wrong. When a man loves a woman, he doesn’t turn his back on his best friend. That’s not real love. Fact: your grandparents understand real love a whole lot better than you think.
Chemically, people ‘fall in love’ – that crazy rush that you probably confuse for love. That chemical rush can last, at longest, for about two years. But what happens when that’s over? Things fall apart. Period.
Think about every other kind of love now. Or what you think is every other kind of love, because what the world has gotten you to believe is that the crazy chemical rush is true love, and that other stuff is, well, other stuff.
All that other stuff is true love. That rush is a part of it, but it’s nowhere near everything. Here’s an example in my life: my mom. I know my mom truly loves me. How? Well, as a kid, I got sick…a lot. And when I say a lot, I mean that I remember once in fourth grade I had pretty nasty pneumonia and missed a month of school straight. I had ear infections at least three or four times a year. Strep throat was common. I don’t even know how many times I had tubes.
All those times when I was sick as a dog, with a fever, I remember my mom was there, every time, to help me. In big or small things, she was there. When I had my tympanoplasty, when I had the jaw surgery, my tonsils, a fever, a cold, a broken arm, a wasp sting on my ear, or even a black eye from flag football, my mom took care of me.
Real love isn’t about always agreeing. We disagree all the time, my mom and I. But I know she cares about me.
The key to real love, in the end, is the ability to inspire greatness in others. To bring out the best.
I think of teachers who have inspired me. My parents. My grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and even random people on the street who just make me want to be better. That right there is real love.
A while ago I found a short story that talks about how to recognize real love. In it, there’s three questions that rather easily sum up how to do so. I use it as a sort of litmus test for love. They are:
- Does this person inspire me to do better in school/work and help me in my efforts to be better?
- Does this person inspire me to be a better friend, father/mother, husband/wife, man/woman, son/daughter, etc?
- Does this person inspire me to draw closer to God and be a better person overall?
Courtesy of a favorite webcomic of mine, I accidentally discovered some pretty interesting stuff yesterday.
First off is www.cleverbot.com – pretty much someone’s attempt to get a robot to pass the Turing Test, which is essentially a test to determine whether or not a given respondent to the test is human or not. Apparently it’s doing a fairly good job.
Next up is this video…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnzlbyTZsQY. It’s two chat bots talking to each other. Some freaky things to note…
- Both bots identified the other as a robot
- The subject of God was addressed
- One of the robots wanted a body
- Ability to reproduce. Robots can’t.
- Response to stimuli. Robots do.
- Growth. Robots…don’t.
- Adaptation. Good AI like Cleverbot does adapt, so points there.
- Metabolism…I suppose you could consider some forms of robotic power like that…but I have yet to see a clear-cut example of robotic metabolism.
- Organization. Well, robots are organized…but not on a cellular level.
- Homeostasis, or the regulation of internal environment such as temperature. I don’t think cooling fans and heat sinks qualify for this.