What is a real man: Father playing with his son

What is a real man?

Where is the image of a real man to be found? Is it in the round-house kick of Chuck Norris or in the decaf latte of the tame metrosexual?

Is masculinity epitomised by the pot-bellied, middle aged, suburban man in front of the sports channel sipping beer and yelling advice to a team of men he has never met, or by the suave wall-street broker in a pin-striped suit? Does the tough inner city gang member embody masculinity or the outdoor man hiking through the wilderness? The image of true masculinity is as varied as the number of people you ask.

In the midst of this masculine identity crisis it must be said that true masculinity is a powerful and positive force for good. A man who is truly masculine embraces responsibility and does all in his power to love, honour, protect and provide for his family and loved ones. He lives with integrity, motivated by conviction, not comfort or convenience. He never takes what is not his but understands that reward comes from hard work and commitment. He has the courage to face the consequences of his actions.

True masculinity is not determined by how much physical strength a man has but rather the strength of his character.

It is not a matter of how much wealth or power a man has but what he does with the wealth and power that he does have. A truly masculine man is not one who boasts of many conquests but one who keeps his commitment to one woman. True masculinity is humble. It is unafraid to apologise and admit wrong. It is not about dominance but service; it is seen in the doing, not the saying.

A truly masculine man is courageous, unyielding in the face of danger and uncompromising in his convictions, but to his loved ones he is a source of tenderness and a place of safety. True masculinity is virtuous and noble, a beautiful gift to the man who possesses it and to the people he loves.

– A reading from ‘Dad, Discover the Power of Fatherhood’

Craig Wilkinson

Craig is a bestselling South African author, award winning social entrepreneur, inspirational speaker and Dad Coach. He is passionate about the crucial role fathers play in the lives of their children and society. Drawing from his experience of raising two children to adulthood and over a decade of working with men, Craig has produced resources for fathers at all stages of their fatherhood journey. Craig is also the founder and CEO of Father a Nation (FAN), an NPO whose mission is to restore and equip men to be great fathers, mentors and role models.