Until a couple of days ago, I had no idea who Brian Lombardi was, as I’m sure was the case for many people. The Illinois resident placed himself on the digital viral map with his article, “27 Ways to Be a Modern Man.” Overall, I found Mr. Lombardi’s assessment to be the ramblings of an effete modern pseudo-intellectual who more than likely has never truly wandered from the creature comforts of Western civilization (if Mr. Lombardi reads this and feels the need to dispute this, I’ll happily issue a retraction of this assessment).
Some of the items on his twenty-seven bullet list are odd, some common sense, and some are the kind of babble that leave you scratching your head, wondering if he is trolling or if he seriously means what he says. There is definitely a snobbish air to his opinion (I only own one Blu-Ray film, and that’s Highlander, simply because I got it at a steal of a price on Amazon).
Rather than fisk the entire list piecemeal, I’d rather come up with my own list. I also think coming up with my own list is timely to demonstrate to certain social groups that masculinity is not something to be shunned or programmed out of males.
Without further ado:
- The prototypical modern man (henceforth referred to simply as “the modern man”) is a descendent of the polymath, the renaissance man. He strives for excellence in multiple areas that interest him.
- The modern man is a critical thinker. He assesses and discerns sources for his opinions, and he actively questions his own beliefs in an attempt to strengthen his overall mindset.
- The modern man is a man of his word. If he says he will do something, then he does it to standard or higher and in a timely fashion. He repays his debts and honors his commitments.
- The modern man has, at the minimum, a passing understanding of science. He is generally cognizant of how the world around him works.
- The modern man does not wear his heart on his sleeve nor does he openly show his softer side to anybody indiscriminately. He does not have to be a hardened, detached man at all times, but he should take care in whom he confides what makes him tick beneath the exterior.
- The modern man does dabble in the arts, and to that effect, he uses the arts to express that softer side. The modern man understands that human emotion is the fuel for artistry, whether it be graphic art, music, the written word, dramatic performance, what have you.
- The modern man does not judge others by trivial items, such as race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin. The modern man judges by actions. The modern man judges by results.
- The modern man does not take himself too seriously. He knows how to laugh at himself and how to take a joke. Simultaneously, he knows to give as good as he gets.
- The modern man is a romantic with high standards. He refuses to let just any partner into his bed or his life. He loves hard, with loyal commitment and devotion.
- The modern man does not need anyone to make him a sandwich or any other sort of food. He can do it his own damn self, and he can do it tastily. The modern man knows his way around a kitchen and, while he may not be Emeril Lagasse or Gordon Ramsay, he knows how to conduct culinary experiments with success.
- The modern man may watch sports, play video games, or watch films and television programs. The modern man also reads. He need not be a bookwoorm, but he does make time to read, as certain ideas can only be expressed directly through the written word. He does not only read one genre, either: every so often, he pushes himself outside of his comfort zone to see what he can learn.
- The modern man is cognizant of current events. Politics and social happenings may not be his forte, but he should be able, at any given time, to list five things happening around the world that do not involve sports, celebrity gossip, or reality television personalities (at the time of this writing: Russians moving into Syria, Japan declaring its military is allowed to act outside of its borders, Oregon community college murders, Iran military posturing in the wake of the nuclear deal, first Daesh/ISIL attempted strike in Israel thwarted by local security services).
- The modern man strives to learn another language. The more, the better. The modern man also experiences other cultures. That does not mean he must forsake or compromise the values of his own culture, nor is he boorish, putting down other cultures simply because they are not his.
- The modern man possesses a violent capacity about him, but it must only be used in self-defense or the defense of others. He is trained in more than one discipline of violence to expand his toolbox, should the worst come to pass. He does not find victimhood to be a superior status to the ability to fend off those who would aggress upon him or his, nor does he go out of his way to put down victims.
- Most importantly, the modern man accepts responsibility for his actions. He recognizes that every action in life is a lesson to be learned, and he strives to learn and improve. The modern man looks inward for culpability for an event before he looks to distribute blame. On the same token, the modern man knows to attribute credit to those who helped him succeed.
This is a barebones post. No shiny graphics or catchy cover. I want people to focus on the words.
One last takeaway: these goals should be an ongoing journey. Few men exemplify all of the attributes listed. I know I fall short in many areas. The goal is self-improvement. This list is what the modern man should strive for.