“Keep this thought handy when you feel a fit of rage coming on—it isn’t manly to be enraged. Rather, gentleness and civility are more human, and therefore manlier. A real man doesn’t give way to anger and discontent, and such a person has strength, courage, and endurance—unlike the angry and complaining. The nearer a man comes to a calm mind, the closer he is to strength.”
—MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 11.18.5b
I’ve never been a manly man. Well, I say that, though I can remember trying to be one from about ages 11-14. Then I started getting bullied a bit at school and realised I wasn’t ever going to be a strong boy physically.
I retreated into my mind but taking resentment and bitterness there. I filled myself with seething hatred for everything around me, confusing what I considered personal injustice with larger injustices of the world. Everything was against us. It was us and them, whoever us was and whoever they were.
I dove head first into the moshpits of punk rock. Besides my mother, punk really was a rock for me to hold on to. Sometimes I clung too tight but eventually I found my way.
Justice and fairness are still amongst my top character strengths, thankfully along with curiousity and gratitude – those two came later.
These days I’m trying to calm my mind to bring some inner peace but the tunes of yesterday still rattle around from dawn to dusk. This inner noise is it’s own sort of peace, it’s familiarity calming, the anger gone.
Man is spelt big M.A.N. it’s the letters of the law,
Man is spelt big M.A.N. that’s who the law is for.
I am so happy and grateful for the supportive teachers around me. They have helped me cover a lesson today and it was easy to stand once I found the right person to talk with.