As far as I can remember, I’ve had a strong desire to be a better person since my childhood. I’m not sure why, but I can think of some possible explanations.
I got a younger sister and I became an older brother. It’s possible that I had this idea of being a good role model for my sister and I wanted to be a better person. As I write this, my inner voice is telling me this is probably not the case. I do aspire to be a good brother now and am ready to help when my siblings are in need of help. But, remembering what I was like, I don’t know if I really had a desire to be a good role model for my sister as well as my other siblings. I guess I was rather mean and bossy to my sisters and brother.
I was somewhat obsessed with comic books. I wasn’t physically strong as a child, and perhaps I was dreaming of becoming a hero like the ones I read in comic books. I think this comic book hypothesis is plausible.
I should note, however, that I didn’t do anything to become my own hero. I was almost dreaming.
I did read a lot of books though. Reading books and thinking do help one grow as a person. So, while I didn’t do much to improve my physical abilities, I had been working on my mental strength.
I wonder if my desire for growth in general was driven by the desire to be accepted by others, especially my parents and my grandparents. Did I want to be loved by my parents and my grandparents? I’m not sure. I guess I can understand if I wanted to be loved by my mother and my grandparents, but perhaps not by my father. I used to hate him, because of his abusive nature.
Or perhaps I wanted to prove myself to others, including my father. If I was feeling that way – that is, if I was feeling the need to prove myself, that’s most likely because I wasn’t confident about myself. If you know who you are and trust yourself, then you don’t feel the urge to prove yourself, unless you are asked to prove yourself and proving yourself is an inevitable task.
Speaking of my father, here’s another possible explanation as to why I feel the desire to be a better person. My parents got divorced when I was 10, and I got more mature by going through situations that arose from the divorce of my parents. I do remember feeling the responsibility of being the first male child in the family as a 10 year old boy. I needed to be strong.
Strength has been an important concept to me. What does it mean to be strong? How can I become strong? I wanted to be a better person, and what that meant to me and what that means to me involve this concept of being strong. I’m in search of true strength.
My father past away when I was 14. I hadn’t been in touch with him and I didn’t see him when he died. The news about his death was shocking to me, even though I hated to him. My hatred towards him didn’t stop me from crying, because when it comes to things like this, we can’t somehow forget bad things and remember good things. Well, that was the case for me anyway. So I cried, and going through this experience made me stronger somehow.
As I think about it, I don’t know why I was driven to become a better person. I don’t know why I was driven for growth. As I mentioned earlier, it’s possible a part of my motive was to impress.
Of course, I have been a curious person and my desire for knowledge and new experiences has been a great source of joy. So, even if a part of me was working on becoming a better person in order to impress others, I’d say a larger part of me was doing it for the sake of joy.
I didn’t go to and study abroad in Australia to impress others. I didn’t study philosophy to impress others. I didn’t start Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to impress others. I did them, because these things attracted me somehow.
Now, this one is rather recent, but for the last few years, I’ve had a strong desire to be a better man, not just a better person. When I say this, sometimes I get a question – why not a better person rather than a better man? A brief answer I have is that there are some specific things about being a better man that don’t necessarily apply to being a better person.
It all started with a very simple question: How can I be an attractive man? What’s implicit here is to be attractive to women. So, there you go. Of course, an attractive person is attractive to… both women and men, but what is it that makes a man attractive? In fact, what does it mean to be a man? That is, what does it mean to embrace male sexuality? It all started with a simple question; yet, this simple question opened the paths to other interesting questions as well.
A significant part of my desire to be a better man is about understanding and celebrating women better as well as being authentic and expressing who I am to them. This is the simplest explanation I can give as to why it’s about being a better man rather than about being a better person.
I still have this desire to be a better man. This is a life long journey, and that’s a good thing. I’m not here to prove myself, but to learn and to share what I’ve learned.
Actually, what I’ve learned so far is pretty simple: It’s not so much about adding new stuff, but it’s about being authentic – showing up as who you are. If we are talking about specific skills, then yes, you could add new skills and knowledge, but if we are talking about being a better man in the sense of being more attractive, then what men need to realize is that they are probably attractive already when they are not pretending to be someone they are not.
Are you ready to be brutally honest with yourself and even admit your vulnerabilities and weaknesses instead of trying to look away from them? That takes some courage and real strength.
I sometimes wonder though. I know some good friends who are on a similar path, but do other men have a similar desire like mine – a desire to be a better man by understanding and celebrating women more?
Oh yes, I have another desire. I want to see more men joining this journey.