So, I almost didn’t do a Heartlander this week. I wasn’t feeling inspired and writing is largely about inspiration, even if there is a ton of work sometimes that comes after the inspiration.
Then, as I was cleaning my apartment this morning–one of my Lent sacrifices is to keep my apartment clean–I finally flipped through the Parade from last Sunday and saw the profile of Steve Harvey. Apparently, he runs a youth mentoring program. When asked who is mentor was he answers
My father. He was a coal miner in West Virginia, and he wouldn’t allow me to be lazy. I remember him telling me, “one day, son, there’s going to be a woman and kids counting on you, and you have to be the type of man to get up and make it happen . . . . “
I think it is hard for women to talk about what it means to them for a man to be a Man. Probably in part because we don’t necessarily agree, but also, how do you tell a guy, “OK, everyone likes to have a good time. Everyone needs space to be their own person. The woman in your life and your kids (if you have them) need you to be present and taking on responsibility at home. Even the heir to the British Throne has used a toilet brush, and trust me, that guy has a schedule like you wouldn’t believe and out being Animal House until all hours is not an excuse for blowing off his family, e.g., Granny Queen of England.”
It’s kind of like, Steve Harvey’s dad is (was?) right. It really needs to come from the guy’s family and father. I don’t think a girlfriend or wife can do that. She can be there to be the good woman when he is ready, but she can’t make him ready–that’s his dad and mom. And whoever gets him there–dad and mom, grandparents, friends, uncles, a former girlfriend, etc–that person is in a way the dad and/or mom.
So, to Steve Harvey and his dad. It’s never easy, but it’s easier with help. 🙂