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That’s a Man

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“Read about a man who said his family had been farming the same land in Ohio for 100 years./Felt like he’d paid for it ten times over with his own blood, his own sweat and his his own tears./If he had to, he’d be out there on that tractor working seven long, hot days a week./ Yeah, he’s the kind of feller that people get real quiet when he stands up in church to speak/They know when he speaks./Oh, that’s a man.”
“That’s a Man” – Jack Ingram

Let me ask you something – are you one of those types? The type who likes to shirk their responsibilities? Who likes to blame others for your failings? Who only hears what they want to hear in someone else’s words vice what’s actually being said? Or maybe you that type, the type that likes to hide behind false words, to make up a situation to avoid just shooting straight. Maybe you are, maybe you aren’t. The problem as I see it – I know entirely too many people who are that type.

I don’t really know where it all sort of got off kilter, when parents stopped teaching their kids responsibility and being accountable for their actions. Because you know, it starts there, what we teach our kids is what they’re going to be and do when they’re adults.

Let me tell you, I’m an expert on getting in trouble as a child. If something went wrong in my household of five children with me being the oldest, more often than not you’d make money if you’d bet that I had something to do with it. With that, I think I heard every single bit of wisdom my father had on the subject – “you wanna dance, you’ve got to pay the fiddle,” or “you can’t do the time, don’t commit the crime,” and my personal, heard way to many times, favorite – “you made you bed youngin, time to lay in it.”

Dad was always good and quick with those and needless to say they were often leveled at me. Like I said, I was usually the ringleader, doing something stupid as kid and getting in trouble for it. But that’s when we’re supposed to do it, when we’re kids. When we’re adults, we’re supposed to leave all that shit behind us with the toys in the toy-box or the clothes long outgrown.

But like I said, I know way too many people who haven’t left that behind, that hold on to it like the 40-year old still wearing his high school varsity jacket. Or the prom queen who some forty years later still clings to one moment in the sun never having done anything more with her life.

Look, nobody’s perfect, we all make mistakes and at times fall short of the person we hope we will be when the time comes and our mettle is tested. The problem is when those actions, or more accurately wrong or no actions, define you, when people look at you and take everything you say with a grain of salt because they know better. They don’t listen to you because they know they can only believe about half of what you say and in this mile-a-minute world we live in your word isn’t worth the listen or the time.

So be a man, be a women, be “a stand tall, walk straight,” type person and I guarantee you everyone around you will notice. You won’t ever have to open your mouth, there’s just something about that type, the person who walks the walk that we all can immediately identify.

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