A question came up in another discussion (typical). Do certain actions in and of themselves automatically make you a worse man? Naturally, that is a judgment call. But I think we all have certain mental or emotional land mines that provoke a strong reaction when stepped on.
For instance, someone says or does that thing I hate. In a self-righteous moment, I look down on him, consider him less of a man because of it.
Naturally, there will be some agreement on those things. Other people will say, "Big deal. I do not think those things matter." After all, there is no Manliness Council of the Elders to make you turn in your Man Card. But you can have friendships weakened if you step on someone else's emotional land mine.
What would cause you to look down on someone and consider him less of a man? Or, what have you done for which other people have looked down on you?
On that last part, I wonder if you really mean "insulting", or maybe "correcting"? I know that words are powerful, and even more so with kids. There is a distinction between, "That was a stupid thing to do" and saying, "you ARE stupid", as we all know. I did that with my daughter. The first time, she whined that I called her stupid. When I pointed out that it was the action I was talking about, she caught on.
I have to agree. My number 1 hot button is the low level neanderthals who choose to not support their woman or children and the mental midgets that demean their or anybody elses children. That action may be forgivable, but it is never forgetable. I think it was the movie Boyz in the Hood that had a line that said "Any swingin' **** can make a baby. It takes a man to raise it right" (or something like that).
Blaming others for your failings or a general lack of personal responsibility is a very close second. I have generally found that both of these go hand in hand.
I have a longtime friend who in the last few years I had sort of fallen out of contact with. About a year ago he relocated to the main island of Hawaii under the auspices of getting established and to then bring his wife and daughter.
I called him out of the blue a few months back, and about five or ten minutes into the conversation I noticed an odd thing... He hadn't asked about my family or mentioned his. So I asked about it and it turned out that he hadn't spoken to his wife in months, the house was being foreclosed on and he couldn't tell me anything about what was going on in his daughter's life. There was no indication that he was planning to go back and help them.
This guy, who I have called a friend for over 25 years, has gone from being a close friend to a total douche in my eyes. I don't know that "Disqualified" is as appropriate a term as "Out of good grace." My personal opinion (Not preaching here, guys) is that with God all things are possible. I would applaud him if he came to his senses and went home to care for and protect his family and showed some sort of genuine transformation in his life. But with that said I have to confess that the pessimist in me thinks that there's too much pride, anger and hurt going on between him and his wife to allow for that. I really feel for the daughter in this whole thing.
As things are now yes, I do look down on my friend as less than a man. I have not talked to him in a long time, I am too angry with him to know what to say.
Holding a friend accountable doesn't have to involve anger or condecension. Just saying something like, "You know, I've been thinking about what you told me has happened to you and your family and I just want to say that they are probably really really hurting right now and need their husband and dad more than you probably know. Why don't you step up to the plate and go to them and see if you can't get things right again. Your the man. Your the husband. Your the dad. What do you say? ... Then, no matter what he replies, just say, "Well, I'm going to be praying for you that you will do the wise, loving and right thing." Then, leave it at that.
And, of course, don't forget to follow up in prayer. My daughter Jeanne and I once prayed for a family like this every day for nearly a year until we heard that they were back together again and doing well. God is faithful.
I've turned into a jerk in my old age. OK I've always been that way but I give in to it more now. But, I have a low tolerance for allowing people in my life that contribute a negative effect on me. I have a smaller circle of friends than I did when I was younger. I would have to say that yes, we all have our moments and our weaknesses. However, I don't expect someone to put up with my crap if they don't want my crap in their life. I have a coworker that has entirely too much drama in their life and everything turns into a dramatic event for them. I avoid him if at all possible. If I have to interact with him I keep it as minimal as I can. I have absolutely no tolerance for criminal behavior. If you light a joint I'll leave. If I can't leave you'll put it out or you'll be hauled off by the police. I avoid any situation that has someone that thinks that's OK or any situation that that would be likely. Same goes for any illegal activity. If I can avoid being stupid so can the people I associate with. I have no tolerance for anyone that tolerates adultery. I've been a victim of adultery and if someone I knew was engaging in such an activity I would tell them they're wrong and acting like scum and tell them they should stop immediately. I will have nothing to do with anyone that refuses to avoid such behavior. For me it shows me their character. I find these things unmanly. I wont ask for their man card but they are considered a risky individual not to trust in my life. They are avoided and I will not associate with them if I have a choice. Of course anyone that doesn't like my behavior is free to do the same.
Less of a Man. Constantly foul language. Behaving like a great big dink towards women, children, the elderly, domestic pets. Being a dink towards the wait staff and other servant types. Being a "progressive". Alcoholism, drug abuse, avoiding personal responsibilities.
"Thanks for starting this John Muir - I've been enjoying listening to all the responses.
It's also making me curious if there are contemporary (or semi-contemporary, I guess) songs floating around today that most folks don't realize…"