Last year I wrote about an experience on Black Friday where I sold camera equipment at a department store, but this particular consumer holiday made me think about something else.
Yesterday as many were eating their own body weight in delicacies I was here at work trying to earn. Afterwards I took a salad and mashed potatoes to a low income family downtown. The mother opened the door and looked at me. Her face was weathered and I sensed she was a lot younger than she looked. Her premature wrinkles showed signs of a hard life and the constant struggle of simply existing was eating at her soul. Still the matriarch greeted me warmly as I brought in the side dishes. The daughter was placing the turkey they were given on a large plate and the little boy was busy playing with a beat up Spider Man car. They were grateful I showed up and the mother took the food to prepare for serving.
They were thrilled at the sight of such simple edible objects. The little boy was so happy he gave me a sugar cookie. Sure they were poor, but on this day they were happier then most families. The simple meal they would eat made their hardship seem less painful and I can guarantee that to them the meal tasted better than any I've ever eaten.
Not surprisingly there was no father to be seen as the mother indicated his permanent absence a.k.a. abandonment. Another pair of children living off one income of an overworked mother. Our generation has a strange sense of masculinity. We try and spread our seed whenever possible deeming it natural, human, a sense of manliness. Responsibility never enters the equation when we think of what is truly macho. Any bound of chivalry or generosity has been tossed aside to pursue simple pleasures that feed our boyhood instincts. We are no longer men, but overgrown children who think practicing what we hear on Tom Leykis makes us somehow a better gender.
Fighting our own evolutionary instincts is a daunting task I know, but few think it's worth the struggle. Women are discarded, spirituality is replaced with rampant consumption of bad beer and porn, and any idea of being a Renaissance man is a foreign concept. Masculinity nowadays is nothing more then an idea sold by advertisers hawking cars and television shows. The phrase 'nothing good comes easy' has fallen to the wayside and it's our children who will suffer because of it.
"Masculinity is not something given to you, but something you gain. And you gain it by winning small battles with honor." - Norman Mailer