A man telling his fellow man to “Man Up” is not toxic, it’s a practice in self-reliance. This term is used to simply push a struggling man to realize his full potential and create self-discipline. We live in a world where the average man is constantly overthinking every single decision he makes because he’s not around real men. A real man is somebody who carries himself with pride and passion. He lends a hand to his friends and family who are struggling as best as he can, and he holds himself accountable. Now, a man should not be completely indifferent to everything. When is pertains to his doubts and worries this needs to be handled in private because no one respects a weak man. Nobody!
When I played basketball at Millpond Village in 2003 I learned very quickly that the guys I played with didn’t care about how I felt. I faced guys who were taller, stronger and older than me which resulted in me getting into a couple of minor scuffles, called numerous names, had basketball stolen from me, and was told I couldn’t play. Oh yeah, I was told to man up whenever I cried. Society will read this over and think, “Well Caleb, that’s pretty toxic! That’s toxic masculinity!” No it’s not Toxic Masculinity because this is how the world treats you. If you don’t pick yourself up and keep going people will continue to knock you down. So it’s in your best interest to get up and try again. I wanted to play basketball but I realized that I wasn’t tall enough and I sucked! What I decided to do was improve myself on and off the court by watching NBA and college basketball games, I played before the school bus arrived and got my homework doesn’t ASAP just to get to the court to show off my skills.
People don’t realize that’s just the way life is. You have to be tough in public and cry in private. If your cry and whine all the time about how your boss yelled at you or why a girl doesn’t like you, you will remain a timid little boy trapped in a man’s body. Discourses by Epictetus p. 276 states that “Another man is afraid that he shall not have power you are afraid that you will.” What Epictetus was saying is men need to take risks and bank on themselves. Don’t be afraid to take that long journey of self-discovery because you should not let others diminish your ability to shine through the darkest days.
Guys are designed to be problem solvers not problem creators. We are supposed to be brave and courageous, responsible and disciplined. Whenever a man tells you to “Man Up” know that he sees potential in you and is trying to toughen you up for a world where only the strong shall survive. It’s a mental practice in self-love that only a man can teach. You have to Man Up because the world doesn’t pity a man who refuses fight back and take control of his mental and physical well-being. Take it one day at a time guys. Fight your own fight and continue to rally on!