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Man is more a concept than a gender

How has something so seemingly simple become so confusing and complex? When I was growing up there was no confusion about a man, who one was and what it meant to be one. The Marlboro Man, the policeman, reverends, doctors, lawyers, judges, Hoss, Little Joe, Adam and Ben Cartwright and Walter Cronkite-- John Wayne and Shaft. A father was a man, a soldier was a man, a gangster was a man. The one in charge, running things, was a man. A Pope was a man, a mafia Don was a man, a General was a man, a boss was a man. Martin was a man, Malcolm was a man, Ali was a man, Frazier was a man, Sidney Poitier was a man. The President was a man, the Vice-President was a man, the trash collector was a man, mail was delivered by a man. There was the assumption of strength, power and leadership that defined a man. Man was created in the image of God. Man was brave, adventurous, ingenious, inventive, creative and artistic. Man ruled kingdoms and harnessed the power of wild animals to do their bidding in fields of war and the power of other men in fields of cotton and sugar and tobacco. Man is brutal and savage. It was in Genesis, the very first book of the Holy Bible, that man slayed his own brother. Man betrayed and disobeyed God Himself by eating from the Tree of Life. Man brought us Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and all that we worship today. Man brought us laws, customs and traditions observed and in practice for thousands of years, in every corner of the planet earth. Now man ventures into the cosmos to claim whatever is there. A Pharoah is a man, a King is a man, a Czar is a man, an Emperor is a man, a Caesar is a man, Genghis Khan was a man, Kublai Khan was a man, Saladin Ayyubi was a man, Chaka Zulu was a man. King David was a man, Abraham was a man, Moses was a man, Jesus Christ was a man, Muhammad was a man. Paul Robeson was a man, Othello was a man, James Baldwin was a man, Richard Wright was a man, Duke Ellington was a man, Billy Strayhorn was a man, Count Basie was a man, Adam Clayton Powell was a man, A. Phillip Randolph was a man, Medgar Evers was a man, George Floyd was a man. Marvin Gaye was a man, Richard Allen was a man, Marcus Garvey was a man, Frederick Douglass was a man, W.E.B. DuBois was a man, Jackie Robinson was a man, Langston Hughes was a man. With so many examples of what it is to be a man, how could we fall so far from what a man is? Today, man is more a concept than a gender. Adam represented man, not an individual, but a man. From the ground, from the dirt, from clay, from ashes he came and to ashes he did, and we shall no doubt return. Man is not swag. Man is not charisma. Man is not a six-pack-- neither Ali nor Frazier wore a six pack into the Championship ring. Man is not neck chains and face tats. A man is not his bag. A man is not his power, or his politics, a man is his word, and his beliefs, and his practices. A man is his soul, his mind, his heart. A man, rich or poor, is deeply connected to the ground he walks upon and the sky overhead that he sings to and prays to. A man honors the land, ground, dirt, and soil toiled for generations. A man’s ancestors live with him in his spirit. A man’s hands should touch the earth and the sand, cool still waters, oceans, rivers, lakes and streams. A man should reach to the and the heavens by day and the stars by night for peace and tranquility. A man may possess lust, pride, gluttony, wrath, envy, sloth and greed-- the Seven Deadly Sins, but a real man seeks his God for forgiveness and goodness. A true man knows that the most beautiful of musical tones is that of atonement. A man with a humble heart will always trump, outlast and outdistance a man with the hardest of hearts, even if it is only his legacy that survives the battle. Brutal men, drunk with power ran America for the past four years. They ruled with hatred, hostility, xenophobia and racism. They exhibited no signs or evidence of compassion and tore America apart at the seams. Men desperate to maintain power violently attacked the Capitol buildings in Washington, D.C. and gained only infamy for their troubles. I’m hoping and praying that better men will prove better leaders, better stewards of this experiment they call Democracy, better keepers of the land, the peace and the people, and I’m thanking God for providing woman to make man’s work more tenable.

That’s what’s on my mind. Website: Podcast: Email:


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