ON ‘REAL MEN’ By Miriam Mukasa
Whether young or old, one cannot help but to have been saddened (in June 2016), by the passing of Muhammad Ali “The Greatest”.
Oh how I remember my childhood singing about the Man who could “Float like a butterfly and Sting like a Bee”. A real man who never needed to punch anyone (man or woman), or burn school/university facilities to prove he was a man. No, Mohammad Ali was a REAL man; while many are simply street fighters or boys pretending to be men.
What has become evident is this:
- Real men fight in the ring; not in the streets, school or homes
- Real Men do not waste time on self pity; they focus instead on the battle ahead. Not ONCE did Ali spend time on self pity or throwing “pity parties” . On the subject of his deteriorating health, his wife Lonnie said: ‘He has a lot to be depressed about,’ she said. ‘The adjustment [to his lifestyle] has been terrific. But I think he has a sense of who he is and his place in history … he still has that sense of self and dignity.’
- Real men stand up for integrity; even when it is uncomfortable. When Mohammad Ali refused to fight in the Vietnam war, not only was he stripped of his belts but also threatened with jail but still he stood his ground. Remind you of anyone? Yes, the late Nelson Mandela, who was jailed for standing up for his principles even when selling out could have seen him released from prison far earlier than the 27 years, that he eventually served.
- Real men fight for equality for all; not simply their tribesmen, gender or only people who look like them.
- Real Men use brain over brawn – because they know, intelligence far exceeds physical strength
- Real Men use their intelligence to outwit their opponent; Mohammad Ali often won his fights outside of the ring. By the time he got in to the ring, it was often just to collect the honours; for his opponent(s) had often already lost the fight mentality.
- Real Men do not feel insecure and threaten someone who does not agree with them; for they know if they have a strong case and live a life of success and integrity; others will see this example and follow suit.
- Real Men are not “foot soldiers” for leaders who claim to hate one another but behind closed doors, are sharing champagne with those same so called “opponents”.
- Real Men do not fight on social media; for they live in the real world not behind the cloak of anonymity of Twitter, which is nothing less than a coward’s way to live. You want change, then VOTE!
- Real Men work hard to provide for their families and their community even when they are physically exhausted they keep going. For this is what a Real Man does; he never gives up.
- Real men live in the present; they do not need to fill their bodies with drugs or alcohol to feel like a man. When was the last time you saw the late Mandela or Mohammad Ali stumble out of a bar wasting money that could feed, clothe or educate a family member?
- Real men do not feel threatened by a strong woman; for they know that a strong woman is the backbone of the family and will keep the family going, in times of need. Indeed, it was the strong wives of both Mandela and Ali, who nursed their husbands during their final years with so much love and dignity. Both had to be strong to get rid of people (including family members), who wanted to exploit their husband’s fame for their own personal gains. Both women gave up promising careers or good life, to devout themselves to their husbands, Both were able to balance their husband’s charity and peace work while protecting husbands whose health was deteriorating. Both men relied heavily on their strong women, sometimes even needing the wife’s help to raise their hands to wave to fans. Yes, a Real Man knows that marriage is about partnership not superiority or, dominance. Thinking your sexist posts on social media make you look big does nothing but show people that you are nothing but a little boy pretending to be a man. You my friend, are nothing but an imposter (a person who deceives others by pretending to be someone else).
- Real men are not afraid to admit to being wrong and are not without flaws; both men had shortcomings in the areas of marriage and fatherhood, which they acknowledged and regretted.
- Real men know that to deny women education is denying a family and country its full potential.
- Real men (as both Mandela and Ali did), knew that unity across ALL races and religions was the key to peace.
- Real Men know that you do not make peace with your friends, but your enemies.
So, today, take a good look in the mirror and ask yourself this: ARE YOU A REAL MAN? Will your obituary read anything like these two great men below?
Mohammad Ali Obituary – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-10985926
Mandela Obituary – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-22892784
A big salute to all the REAL men out there. Keep fighting for equality and Peace for ALL.