I once thought I was strong because I could bench press 365 lbs. and felt like the Hulk after a little workout. I once thought I was strong because people looked at me and I could tell they were impressed or intimidated by my height and build. When I became a husband and father, I’ve come to realize this is a feeble and laughable strength.
Real strength is when a husband and a father gets out of bed, every day for years on end, before the sun comes up, leaving his wife and children sleeping peacefully, and puts in a 12 hour work day. Real strength is coming home to a colicky newborn baby and a wife that is past what she can endure and taking over for the night because you can’t afford to be weak and let them suffer. Real strength is making dinner, cleaning the dishes, doing a load of laundry, taking out the trash, and fixing the old high mileage pickup truck so you can get to work the next day. Real strength is holding your baby girl in your arms and she falls asleep instantly because she has complete faith in you.
So what happened to men of real strength and character? Every day, the media tells us about how a feminist idol made it big or a homosexual cross-dresser became a “hero” while a soldier, who gave his life for his country, is a villain. It seems the American culture is more concerned with idolizing the shocking and unconventional lifestyles of Hollywood playboys and lying politicians than they are with what happens in real life America. So again, I ask, what happened to the real men, husbands, and fathers of America? Why do they seem to be ignored or non-existent? The answer is obvious; so obvious that it’s shocking. The real men, the men who are building America, blazing trails, keeping the country running, under-appreciated, and over-worked as if it is expected and not worth taking note of – these men are too busy to give a rip. These men are too busy waking up while it’s still dark outside, working 12 hours a day, coming home and taking care of their wives and children, fixing their old pickup truck, rocking their babies to sleep, and getting their family to church every Sunday to care about publicizing themselves, seeking public spectacle, or validation of obscene vanity.
So, to the real American men, regardless of color, creed, or politics, this is a tribute to you. YOU are the glue that holds your family together. You are the driving force for the economy, regardless of all the Washington politicians’ best attempts to take credit for it. You are the ones making a real and lasting difference in the world because you’re building a life for yourself and your family while carrying freeloaders, exploiters, and societal leeches on your backs in the form of excessive taxes. Without you selfless, devoted, hard-working, men of integrity, we wouldn’t have a country to call our own or the freedom to live in the pursuit of happiness. So, in the unlikely chance that you get a break this week, sit back in your easy chair, have yourself a cool drink and pat yourself on the back – no one else will and that’s OK because, at the end of the day, you’re a real man and you don’t need them to.