What does it mean to be a man?
Previous attempts to answer this question have proven futile for me cause I was gauging my answer through societal thoughts.
Society here being my Father—my first man, my brother, and even my sisters, telling me ways they've been conditioned to believe a man should act, be, or live.
But they failed to show me how.
As I grow older, with each passing day, I'm reminded I've been focused on the wrong things and that instead of trying to be a man, I should first be human. Another daunting task.
Being human to me is understanding the world away from gender bias and relating with every other human as what they are—humans.
But I am not living in a vacuum, am I?
Every day, society reminds me of the gender construct and how I must live by it. How I must follow some revered rules because of my reproductive organ.
So what do I do?
I agree. Yes, I agree to follow their rules if they would follow mine. To understand culture and norms is to know that it was made for man and not man for it and that understanding comes with the realization that rules can be changed once they are proven to have adverse effects.
Having said that, society's manual for being a man is totally unprogressive.
To be a man in this age is to understand that first, you're human like every other person. Then know your peculiarities and lean towards them as you interact with others.
To be a man is to accept that you're human and that you inherit every physical, emotional, and spiritual trait of a human.
Being a man doesn't strip you of your humanness.
Being a man is acknowledgment.
It is first living and being enough for yourself without entitlement. Then learning to be responsible because you should and not just for being a man.
So Dear Kings, even as we celebrate ourselves today, society will raise its ugly voice to remind you what they think you should be as a man, putting pressure on you for a choice you didn’t make.
But I want you to know that na man you be and you no kill person.
Happy International men’s day to every man out there.