Brethren, why do we call ourselves everything under the sun but the one thing we are supposed to strive everyday to be: a man. I’ve heard story after story about who used to do what, be this or was that; but in these conversations I never hear “I was a good husband”, “a loving father”, “a doting son”, “caring brother” or a stand-up person: a man.
I’ve parlayed with the pimps, played with the playa’s, hustled with the hustla’s, swapped clips with the gangsta’s, macked with the macs, jacked dope boys for their sacks, and stole from thieves; it didn’t get me any closer to being a man.
Been a brother to the ones who didn’t have a brother, a father figure to the fatherless, and a friend to ones without a friend. Done broke bread with males considered weak, advised those needing advice. Made friends with those which thought of me as their enemy. What did it get me? I grew some, but still wasn’t a man.
Showed love to people who never loved me back, given to those who never even thought of repayment. Was there for friends and loved ones beck and call. Who was there for me when I fell? I stood alone, still a boy.
While standing alone, it dawned on me that those friendships, kinship’s, imitations and participation earned me nothing because although I used every name and moniker I felt I had to be in my dealings and travel, I still was not a man nor did I ever consider myself to be a man.
I showed the ability to provide, be unselfish and generous. Had attributes that was considered honorable; displayed friendship, loyalty and trust. Doing the things that I was supposed to do, things all considered as having respect. But these things were done all under the false pretense of being everything else but a man. These things didn’t make me a man, actually they made me selfish, self-centered and unilateral in my thinking.
So today my brethren, I say, it is time to become a man. We need to stop calling ourselves names we never meant to be. There is a lot in a name! The world respects men, not those boys that are pretending to be a man. Don’t give yourself a name, unless you plan to live the life of that name…
– Thomas D. Payne