The guy in front of me was huuuuuuge! As I cut through the small playground on my way home this towering man seemed to get bigger and bigger as I approached. He was directly on the path I was traveling on so I had to walk around him! This man had the look of a stereotypical biker but he was also in massive muscular proportion like Incredible Hulk. His head was shaved and tattoos lined his arms and one crept up the back of his neck. Actually, I don’t think he had a neck.
Prancing beside him on a leash was the tiniest Chihuahua. The Chihuahua was doing what Chihuahua’s do stepping light through the grass, sniffing around and peeing here and there. I could tell that the man cared deeply for his dog as he walked ever so slowly allowing his dog to go where it wanted. The man spoke gentle loving words as his pet walked him around. It was a magnificent sight!
As I walked by I said, “It’s good that you have your guard dog with you”. We shared a laugh and I walked on. Down the path I turned around just to get another glimpse of the beautifully tender yet wildly contrasting vision. They suited each other. Now THAT’S masculinity, I thought! The look of this man was one that would normally strike fear in people yet he permeated love for his dog. It was so sweet.
What is true masculinity then? Is it the big burly tough guy that had the appearance that he could crush you with one hand or was it the loving male showing tenderness and affection? In my books masculinity has nothing to do with toughness, physical strength, or aggression and everything to do with the heart of a man. While this biker-looking-dude showed delicate caring he displayed what I believe true masculinity and therein laid his true strength. He was oh so male, yet there felt a balance in him in that very moment which defied his physical appearance.
Who knows what he was like in his other world when he wasn’t caring for his doggie, but in that moment it was totally irrelevant. He could very well have been a tough-guy so to speak, but maybe not. It would have been very easy for me go into a story and paint a picture of his life, but I didn’t. What struck me most and remains with me to this day was how tender and loving he was and felt.
Men have been conditioned from childhood by their families and friends, their culture and schools and the media and government a false meaning of masculinity. Men have been fed a pack of lies about courage and honour where it was promoted and rewarded that it’s better to hold feelings inside, to be tough and to be a man! To show tender and loving feelings was to be weak and feminine, to be like a girl or to be gay. However in truth the ability to express sincere and honest feelings is a sign of masculinity like none other. Just ask any woman about how they feel about a man being able to express feelings and to get in a heart-felt discussion. Simply put, women so appreciate and love it! At core, all human beings love it!
This beautiful man and his Chihuahua gave me an incredible gift that afternoon, one that has been permanently etched in my memory. I was blessed with seeing and feeling a display of true masculinity, for there is no greater gift a human being can exude, female or male, than a tender loving heart.