1. Courage: Marcellus “Dat Dude” Wiley, pro football player, was so affected by children drowning that he was willing to go on national television and say he was overcome with emotion after facing his own fear of water and doing an ocean swim.
2. Strength: Real men know when to hold you up, when to stand next to you, when to stand in front of you, and when to stand behind you, graciously.
3. Honor: To all those soldiers who take a minute to smile at a child in a foreign country or help a local in distress, they do more to enhance our reputation than any amount of artillery. Thank you.
4. Kindness: The grandpa I saw at the ‘Dad and Tot’ swimming class yesterday, filling in so that his granddaughter would grow up having fun in the water safely, and smiling as she squealed with joy when he tossed her in the air.
5. Walking the talk: Cullen Jones and countless others who have used their own life experiences to help thousands of kids live better, safer, healthier lives.
6. Teamwork: Watch any good sports team in action. If we all worked towards a common goal, using individual’s strengths to a greater good, think of what we could accomplish. I’m partial to rugby as an example.
7. Mentor: Acting as a Big Brother, Scout leader, Coach or just the dad who includes the kids whose dads aren’t around. They make a real, positive impact in children’s lives.
8. They aren’t women: My daughter has blossomed having Mike as her swim teacher – men sometimes push a bit harder and are less likely to coddle – children need both male and female influences to thrive.
9. Self-confidence: Being a real man means you can say you are scared, wrong or emotional. After all, we women are kind of hoping you might feel something if we died or were hurting, nice to see you are capable of feeling.
10. Muscles: No explanation necessary.
First published this two years ago, recently reminded why it’s still my favorite blog.