C4 Challenge #21 - Character
“Where have the real, authentic men gone? Hard times are upon us. It is time to challenge yourself to forge character, connection, contribution, and capacity to honourably serve life, your beloveds, and your community. Join me and become “a man among men”.
This is the introduction statement for “the doer of deeds” and the C4 Challenge Program. We are now at C4 Challenge #21. All of the C4 challenges to date have been necessary to set the stage for this challenge. Character challenges have focused on our life mission, virtues/value sets, identity/character, pride/humility/egoism, doing hard things, and self care. Connection challenges have dived deep into our relationships with our beloveds, life/death, situational awareness, time, and creating moments. Capacity challenges have addressed our fitness/skill, owning our mornings, resilience/growth, and preparing proactively for the unexpected. Contribution challenges have discussed our honour groups, total leadership, facing fears, and aging.
These preceding twenty challenges have given the context and background information to create a solid foundation of character, connection, capacity, and contribution in preparation for this discussion on noble masculinity and the statement, “a man amongst men”.
This challenge should NOT be read in isolation without going through the prior C4 Challenges.
First, I think we need to get the the words male, masculinity, and man defined. They each are unique in their own right but seem to be used interchangeably and at times incorrectly in our modern society. Male, according to our trusty Webster’s New International Dictionary (Second Edition) from 1934, is defined as “a human being of the male sex”. Man is defined as “an adult male of the human race”. Masculinity is defined as the “state, quality, or degree of being masculine”. Lastly, masculine is described as “having the qualities of a man; suitable to, or characteristic of, a man; virile, robust; sometimes of a woman.”
I particularly like how this dictionary defines the synonyms of male: “MALE (opposed to female) applies to animals and plants as well as to human beings, and always suggest sex. MASCULINE (opposed to feminine) denotes that (esp. strength, vigor, and the like) which belongs to or is characteristic of men, and frequently suggests gender rather than sex. MANLY (often opposed to boyish, childish) commonly suggests a man’s finer qualities, esp. courage, frankness, independence. MANLIKE is more apt to suggest characteristically masculine qualities or (esp.) foibles; as, manlike bluntness. MANNISH (compare the implications of womanish, childish) is a term of contempt; as compared with the corresponding use of masculine, it expresses affected rather than natural qualities. MANFUL implies esp. bravery or resolution. VIRILE (a stronger word than masculine) suggest the qualities belonging to fully developed manhood. Ant. - See FEMALE.
Interestingly, I do not hear the works mannish, manful, and virile used often, or if at all, in our current lexicon. I have done a lot of reading, listening, and reflection on this