What Makes a Man in 2015

An introduction to hashtags, parenthood, dating, clothes, and all the other ingredients of the iMan

By Ethan Harmon

What makes a man? Or rather, what truly makes a man stand out in our society today? Some men think it requires a lot of time at the gym, working out, building muscle, and ultimately looking like a ‘roided out superhero (oh, and taking pictures to put on Facebook and Instagram). Some think it means holding a nice job to provide for a specific lifestyle. Others believe it means to be chivalrous. Guess what? It’s none of these answers, and with the new year, it’s time to step up to become a better person, or in this case, a better man. So what does it really take?

Understand yourself. You’re not going to be a “real man” if you truly don’t understand who you are as a person. What do you like to do? How do you want to be treated? What do you really want out of life? What do you like about others and what do they like about you? To become the man you truly want to be, you are going to need to answer these questions for yourself. Re-evaluate yourself, build something better for yourself, and become what you want to be. A real man does not succumb to the opinions, views, critiques, and harsh words of others. He walks his own path.

While looking introspectively into your wants and needs, find out what you love to do. Do you fancy  yourself a writer? Or maybe you like to paint? Whatever it is, pour more focus and energy into it. Do not allow your hobbies or dreams to escape due to the stresses of a job or the raised eyebrows of your fellow peers. Find your passion and make it part of your daily routine.

You also need to understand your values, or more specifically, what you value in life. If you have a significant other and that person means the world to you, give more attention and affection to that person. If you are building an important career path (in your eyes), then continue onward and don’t stop until you are where you want to be. Hell, even if you just value spending time with your puppy, buy it some toys, take it for a walk, and play around more. A real man understands his values and treasures them.

And finally, honestly, just be a man. Although I have provided a small list of things to think about and look into going forward into the new year, these are not everything that makes a man. You’re a man, yes? Well, just be one. Be someone others like to be around, and be someone you are proud to be. It’s not about money, a specific lifestyle, how much weight you can lift, the amount of dates you go on, the clothes you wear, or the car you drive. Being a man is just about being a man. Be passionate and pursue your dreams. Hang out with your friends and make memories together. Just be yourself and enjoy the new year and every year beyond. Just be a man.