When I think of a real man, I think of a farmer. Now, I may be biased because I grew up in Ohio, but a farmer just seems to have all the qualities of a great man. Since I am the one painting this picture, let’s say this farmer’s wife is a teacher.  Ahhhhhh!  A farmer and a teacher we are off to a wholesome start. So why a farmer?  

For starters, a real man must know the benefit of hard work.  A farmer is always up early, and some days he has to work late. But he knows after working day in and day out, after all of the blood sweat and tears, sometimes all of that hard work doesn’t pay off how we expect it to.  A farmer knows that a storm, a drought, a pest, or any number of things can wipe out his hard work. But that’s no deterrent. As soon as God allows its back to work.

Speaking of God, a man must have faith. How else do you get back up after everything you’ve worked for has been destroyed? A farmer has faith. Faith that following destruction comes another chance to begin again. A man must have faith to survive. I know we’ve all been preconditioned to the notions that a man is away at work while a woman raises the children. Not the farmer. The farmer can always be found in his office, and his office is around the house. Often he takes his children with him to the office.  While they watch dad work they see things, and they hear things that instill valuable lessons about life. I am the one painting the picture, and I may be biased, but the father seems to be a great teacher in this painting.

I imagine life on the farm can be tough, and so is a Farmer. Not your modern day metro-sexual tough guy, but tough for real. You won’t find real toughness on the cover of Men’s Health. True strength is intangible, it can’t be caressed. True strength is resilience. Being able to stay on your feet when you are down. That is true strength. Being able to do things you don’t want to do, and doing them with attention to detail and class. That is true strength. Knowing when to walk away, hit the hay, and fight another day is true strength.

Let’s not forget the lady of the house. She receives the utmost respect because a man knows that is what a “lady” deserves.  Life and death are learned early on a farm. There is life and death even with plants. Think of all the analogies that use a woman or the womb regarding the life and death of our existence. Woman is the key to our existence. What about Mother Nature. What happens if you disrespect her. Ask a farmer and they will tell you if you disrespect that which gives you life, you will lose your own life in the process. The better your understanding of those things that give you life, more prosperous and fruitful your life will be.

Back to the lady of the house. She is a teacher. A teacher is a nurturer because a man must have compassion. But like a diamond, a man is formed under pressure. And you’re going to need a nurturer to ease the pain of that pressure from time to time. A teacher is an educator. Because a man must have an education. Not a certificate, an education. A man needs to know up from down, 2 + 2, and to be able to find himself on the map. Seriously, a man needs to have some craft. Something he feels he’s good enough at to probably get on your nerves telling you how to do it properly.  Sounding like a man yet?

I don’t believe your mother has to be a teacher for this seed to grow. I don’t believe you have to grow up on a farm for the seed to grow. I believe that anyone can plant this seed.  Hard Work, Faith, Resilience, Love, Education, and understanding and love of the Mother.  I have been watering my oldest seed for 11 years now. My youngest is 4. I believe if we can grow men like these we can grow a sustainable crop, instead of a crop of Pansies.

-A. Carroll

Written by A.C.

Father, Writer, Master Gardener, Photographer, Entrepreneur, Adventurer, know it all.

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