To Be A Man
It’s going to take a while to come to grips with this, I shit you not. But I suppose if I could reach back through time and tell myself something about dealing with fear and rage and injustice, it would be this- Be hard, but not cold.
People are self-centered, short-sighted, self indulgent but they are also warm, caring, forgiving and kind. Sometimes a person can be all of those things.
A man builds and relies on his inner strength, to stand on his own against the faults and weakness of others. He creates a place for himself; small enough and solid enough to maintain on his own, to shelter him against the chaos of others. That is his place, and that is where a man is hard. That is where he draws the line, it is what he defends at all cost, it is where he chooses to listen or to ignore, and one day, it is what he might choose to share with someone else.
This is not always a physical place, though it can be- it is a place you create inside you, for you and only you. Children live in the spaces of others, men make that space for themselves.
Now there will come a time, when you have built your space, and the world outside is cold and brutal. And you will want to shut yourself in and keep everybody out, because it hurts so goddamn bad to be outside. But you listen to me when I tell you that shutting yourself away, that turning off yourself and your emotions will only make things worse.
You are the warmth in your own world. When it’s cold, that is the most important time to show that warmth to others. In turn, over time, they will share their warmth with you. Look for that warmth. Cherish it. Choose your friends carefully. Build ties with people who show you care and concern, drop ties with those who are too wrapped up in themselves to give back. Be the kind of person you would want to be friends with, and your good friends will always resonate with you.
Be hard, but not cold.
You seem like a great kid. Smart. Thoughtful. Aren’t a lot of ‘em who bring out the old man in me. Maybe when you’re my age, you’ll tell someone the same thing.
You’re gonna be fine. You got this, no matter what. It’s shit like this that breaks a man or makes one, and you’ve got everything it takes to pull through. Gonna be a helluva man, son. Helluva man.