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May I be a man

May I be a man.

What does it mean to be a man?

Do I draw my lessons from locker room tough talk of my youth, the language of one-up-man-ship?  Do I believe the message too often propagated in our popular culture that manhood is about conquest and domination?

Or do I draw my lessons from the real men in my life?  Mentors and friends.  My   father and grandfathers.  Good and humble men.  Men who truly understood what it means to be a man: to be strong AND vulnerable, to be brave AND kind.  Men that learn to love at home and then radiate that love into the world.

I wish I had written the poem Man Prayer, but Eve Ensler beat me to it.  It speaks the truth about being a real man.  I urge you to have a look and a listen:

I love the ending! And I would add a couple words:

May I cherish, respect and love my mother.

May the resonance of that love translate into loving all women, all men, all living things.


Love begins at home, here, now, wherever you are, whomever you are with.  Being a real man means having the courage to love, even when it is hard to do.

May I be a man.

Stuart Bush
AWP Board of Directors

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