This month we will discuss:
- The True Measure of a Man
- Chesapeake News
The True Measure of a Man!
It was July 8, 1955, and Lonnie Sturdivant, our pastor’s son and one of my best friends, was spending the night. We had a hard day of playing around the neighborhood and earlier that evening had waved goodbye to my dad. Dad was a Pullman Conductor (the guy that collects the tickets on the train) and was headed to Union Station in DC.
That night that Reverend Sturdivant and my mom woke us up and took Lonnie off and then returned to me. “Your Dad is not coming home.” I remember asking “what do you mean he is not coming home?” Was this a temporary thing? What’s the deal? My mom gently explained – “he is never coming home again.” At forty-one years old, Dad had died of a massive heart attack while on the train.
At the funeral one of my aunts put her hands on my shoulder, looked into my eyes and said, “You’re the man of the house now.” I was seven years old and had just received a job assignment – a new position; “man of the house.”
Most young men have their dads as a role model for what a man should be. Several years ago, there was a funny country song about a young boy mimicking his dad saying “I want to be just like you Dad” – the underlying message of the song was to be a good role model.
However – what if you do not have a dad, or you have one that is a miserable example? Now what?
Personally I was very blessed – Mr. Atkinson next door was a great role model as were men at our church and in school. My mom married a wonderful stepdad, Ray Carswell. There were sports heroes, cowboys, war movies and a variety of other men role models that helped me along. Joe Bellino was one of my big heroes – he won the Heisman Trophy at the Naval Academy and was really cool. I got to briefly meet him, and he sparked my interest into going to the Naval Academy.
All my role models seem to be what one would refer to “as a man’s man.” There was some level of machoism in there and success and position. Of course I wanted to have a pretty girl friend (or perhaps several pretty girl friends). I needed to be a protector for sure.
One evening my mother returned from work to find me fixing to shoot Mr. Webster (not his real name) with my bow and arrow. Mr. Webster had come to our home intending to shoot my dog because he claimed my sweet vegetarian dog had killed one of his man-eating chickens. Impossible. I told him if he hurt my dog, I was going to shoot him in the head with my arrow. In one of my prouder moments my mom invited Mr. Webster to leave our property and that I indeed would have shot him. Looking back on that ordeal I do not think my mom liked Mr. Webster.
The question of “what is the true measure of a man” is universal.
I am part of a group of men at our church that meets once per week for an hour. This fall semester we are studying the book “True Measure of a Man” by Richard Simmons III with John Hall. It addresses the issue of manhood in an excellent manner. I have used the book before when teaching classes in prison. If this topic interests you – I recommend you get the book. If you have additional questions give me a call.
- I am a spiritual being. After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will rot rule the eternal. I choose self-control. Max Lucado
- Every person must find some way to justify their existence. No matter how much wealth or possessions you accumulate in the course of your lifetime, you can never purchase what most people most desire: significance. Soren Kierkegaard
- Wisdom is a combination of sound judgement and moral choice; knowing how things really work and why things happen and having the good sense to know what to do about it. Richard Simmons lll
- A fool is quick tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted. Proverbs 12:16
- There is nothing wrong with knowing it all if you don’t act like you know it all.
- Pleasure is usually treated as a byproduct of doing the right thing.
- I learned the objective of life is not prosperity as I have grown up to believe, but the maturity of the soul. Alexander Solzhenitsyn
- Life’s greatest paradox is that true strength is found in humility. Richard Simmons lll
- Inner strength is found only when we are willing to acknowledge our weaknesses, flaws, and inadequacies. John Hill
- Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind. CS Lewis
- True humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less. Rick Warren
- Humility is a form of wisdom. It is thinking clearly. It is simply being realistic. It is knowing who really deserves the credit and the glory of what we do.” Drayton Nabers, Jr.
- Humility helps you recognize that all you are, all you have, is a gift from God and a result of other people contributing to your life.
As you enter into 2023 planning mode here are some of the things we can supply to help you and your team achieve your goals:
- We have a variety of leadership development programs we can tailor to fit your needs. Supporting our programs are numerous behavioral and skill assessments.
- We can help you profile your specific jobs. A job description that is quantitative can be an aide in hiring, training, and retention.
If you want to learn more and you live within a 100 mile radius of Tuscaloosa let’s grab a cup of coffee and talk about it. Pouring value into your employees improves the chances of retaining that employee. Adding value is a good thing!!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday this month!!