So I'm stumbling through an explanation to my nephew on how to be a man.
Naturally a 9 year old boy thinks beating up the bad guy and saving
the cookies from the dog is being manly. :P

So I explain....

A man is defined by his actions. Everyday a man must live honorably even
when it doesn't benefit him. A man accepts responsibility for all of his
actions. The good and the bad.

A man stands up for what he believes is right and if a time comes that
he see's that he was wrong he accepts it without regret or reservation.
When a man see's something he believes is wrong he works to right it.

A man doesn't define his life by the money he earns or the things he
builds or owns, but by the relationships he creates and the lives he
affects. When it comes to friends and family he see's them as the same
and does not bind them to suit his needs. When it comes to love he does
not own his partner. He loves them unconditionally and equally. He
lives for them and their happiness everyday.

A man doesn't have to like everybody, but he hates no one. He will, when
needed, help anybody who needs it even if he doesn't like them. He does
this without any expectation of having it returned. He does it simply
because it's the right thing to do.

Man is only human. He will fail, make mistakes, wrong someone at some
point, become depressed, cry, feel less than a man, lose sight of what's
important, and he will hurt someone he loves knowing full well that he
is. However, he will pick himself up each and every time, dust himself
off, make penance for his wrongs, learn from his mistakes, and carry on.
Why? Because a man truly has only two choices in this life. To live
everyday the best he can or give up and wait for death and a main never
gives up.

And lastly. No matter how his life has gone. He will try his best to
teach his children to be better than himself. To excel past what ever
limits he himself reached, but if they fall short he won't show them
anger or disappointment. He will show them love and encouragement and
help them get back up and to keep trying. Because he knows that his
legacy is best defined in his children and as he honored his parents and
grandparents so will his children honor him. Not through words, but
with love, respect, and action.